Having an obligation to pay monthly bills is not only an issue for residential homeowners but this also affects all businesses. Though some of the bills have a fixed amount, there are those that change almost every month depending on the usage of utilities. One of those that constantly changes is the monthly energy bill. Multiple factors affect the amount of the bill to be paid for a specific month. However, the biggest factor that affects such bills is related to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems installed on a home or commercial building.
For a country like Canada, there are climate changes happening all throughout the year. With extreme changes in the temperature, residents and office workers rely on their HVAC systems to make their homes and work areas comfortable. HVAC systems are designed to be energy efficient, but this still depends if the area being cooled or warmed has the proper insulation. If there has been no insulation applied inside the buildings and houses, an area may retain hot and cold spots which would force the HVAC system to continuously work harder until the optimal temperature of a specific room is achieved.
This becomes an issue of energy efficiency as the amount of electricity being used by the HVAC system will depend on the amount of heat and coldness that needs to be removed to achieve the desired temperature. With that being said, the importance of proper insulation is highlighted. This article will show you some of the common insulation forms being used in the market today and you will also get to see the pricing models used by commercial insulation services.
What is insulation?
You may have experienced cases wherein, the temperature outside your house or office is very high, and the air-condition system is not able to make the area as cold as you would expect. Also, there are times wherein it takes a long period of time for the air-conditioner to cool down your office or house. If the air-condition system is working perfectly fine, then one of the causes of this from happening is that the area is probably not insulated properly.
Insulation is basically defined as the application of any material to cover up or fill up any spaces on your walls, ceilings, attics, and many others so that the flow of heat will be reduced. It is only natural for heat to flow from warm areas to colder places. Usually during summertime, heat naturally tries to move from the outdoors into houses and buildings. The reverse happens during wintertime wherein heat tries to escape into the outdoors.
When insulation materials are properly installed or applied, the travel of heat from warm areas to colder places are drastically slowed down which in turn eases the burden being placed on HVAC systems. This helps in reducing the energy costs while maintaining a uniform and consistent temperature all throughout as changes in temperature occur.
Different forms of insulation
The insulation material being used depends on the areas that need them to be applied on. You can opt to apply multiple forms of insulation to a building, which is why it is recommended to familiarize yourself with them first. The list presented below is meant to give you some essential information for each of these insulation forms:
- It is one of the most common forms of insulation for the past 20 years. It is known to be one of the more durable of the different forms of insulation, which in turn makes it cost a bit more than them. It is polyurethane based. It is applied by spraying a mixture of chemicals, isocyanate and resin, on to surfaces that has some cracks and gaps which causes hot air to flow into cooler areas. Once sprayed, it forms into foam and then eventually hardens to seal the cracks and gaps.
- This type of insulation is preferred to be applied on the surfaces of roofs, ceilings, attics, internal walls, garage doors, and other areas of a house or building structure. This is also a good option to apply on hard to reach spaces.
- This form of insulation comes in 2 types. One is the open cell spray foam. It is a soft low-density material which is designed for interior application such as attics, basements, roof deck, and wall cavities. It improves the air quality within the building and can act as a sound dampening material to lessen the volume of sound or noise outside the building.
- The other type is called closed cell spray foam. It is a rigid medium-density material. With its closed cell composition, it has a stronger protection against water damage. It is designed for both indoor and outdoor applications
- This is the most common type of insulator and a cheaper alternative to the spray foam insulation. This can be made from minerals, plastic fibers, or fiberglass. This is designed to be applied on wider, longer, and larger areas.
- It can be easily cut to be applied on smaller spaces but it is difficult to place into hard to reach spaces. The preferred areas for placement for this form of insulation are the surfaces of floors, ceilings, and unfinished walls by fitting it between joints, studs, and beams.
Rigid foam board
- This is usually composed of polystyrene or polyisocyanurate which are either extruded or expanded. This is intended to be placed on walls and garage doors as it can reduce the conduction of heat and provides good thermal resistance.
- This is installed in the attics to reduce heat during the summer. With the use of aluminum foil as radiant barrier, this form is designed to reflect radiant heat.
Loose-fill and blown-in
- This form was designed to form insulation material into small sizes. The application of this is by using a blower to blow the insulation material into areas with smaller spaces like wall cavities and unfinished attic floors.
- The insulation material is also aerated by the blowing machine which in turn fluffs it up to cover the cracks and gaps of the surfaces. The material used can be made from mineral wool, cellulose, or fiberglass.
Professional installation of insulation materials
Application of the insulation materials can be done by anyone as long as they have the proper tools and safety gear needed to avoid damages, injuries, and health problems. However, it is highly recommended to have a professional team do the installation instead. To avoid wasting materials and time it is best to contact a commercial insulation service company as they would not only install the insulation on your behalf but they can also evaluate which form of insulation would best fit your location and areas of application. In addition, having a professional team implement the insulation project will assure you and your company that these experts are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and tools.
Pricing models followed by commercial insulation services
The commercial insulation services industry has been in the market for about 50 years already. Throughout the years, improvements and advancements in technology have produced various forms of insulation materials and methods that have their respective uses depending on factors like location, climate changes, and many others.
Services offered in this industry adapt to the client’s needs. This is why before deciding on which form of insulation is to be installed, customers are encouraged to have the insulation company evaluate first the details of the job that needs to be done. With that being said, the pricing on a quote is also adaptive to the amount and range of the work to be done.
For a better idea on how the price of a job is decided, it is best to see the different pricing models being followed by different commercial insulation companies.
Gross margin pricing
- This is a pricing model being used in the insulation services industry for faster and straightforward transactions. However, by adding a fixed markup to the total cost incurred by the service provider to complete the project, profit is rarely maximized in this situation. Whenever the prices in supply change, companies can easily explain to their customers why their pricing needs to change as well.
- This is usually used by the new entrants in the commercial insulation industry. Through research of its competition that has been doing its business for a period of time already, a company is able to find the middle ground on the pricing it should use to maximize on revenue without thinking of the costs to be incurred to finish a project.
Project based pricing
- When the plan for an insulation project is clearly defined, a service provider may opt to choose this pricing model. By agreeing on the scope of work and formal quotation before project initiation, the client can already have an idea on how things would turn out for the amount of money he is paying. This is also beneficial for the service provider as sudden changes in scope would be avoided which may prolong the completion of the project.
- When it comes to insulating a house or a commercial building, there are many areas and different forms of insulation to consider. Service providers use this model when they see an opportunity to widen the scope of a project, as compared to what the customer initially planned to get. To make it worthwhile for the customer, packaging services for a bigger scope of work usually means that the price would be cheaper than having to avail of separate services in the future. This is a strategy by the service provider to get loyal customers.
Having business offices and houses insulated is an investment. This gives considerable savings to the energy bill which in the long run is a pretty good return on investment. Other than energy related savings, some forms of insulation can even prevent water from seeping into the cracks and holes preventing the formation of molds and mildew. With the benefits greatly outweighing the initial costs, it would be best to improve insulation as early as possible. With regards to the pricing, as it can be seen in the different models being followed by the different commercial insulation service providers, overpricing is never an issue.
The market in itself has dictated how the services are to be priced since there are many insulation companies who have already opened shop making the pricing more competitive. Customers have more options to compare the services and pricing offered for each company. The other important thing customers need to consider is the fact that a professional team of insulation experts will always be ready to produce the best output possible as this industry dwells on the level of customer satisfaction.
For more information and concerns regarding residential or commercial insulation, you can call Foam Insulation Company at (416) 880-1927.