,

My Grandmother’s Attic

When’s the last time you went into your attic? I did not give my attic much thought until I started a new job. Now I am amazed to discover how rare people go in their attics. I have talked with homeowners who have not been in their attic for 20+ years.  One new homeowner said that she purchased a home 8 months ago and has actually never been in her attic.

Here’s my attic story:

When I was a little girl, I remember seeing magic stairs pop down from the ceiling in one of my grandmother’s bedrooms in her tiny rancher. Kids who see stairs always wonder what’s on the other end. I was so small and the stairs so large that I never went beyond just looking up.

As I got older and saw those stairs descend each Christmas to bring down decorations, I would beg my mother to allow me to go up. It was always a firm “no,” and I lived with it.

After my grandmother passed away, I was at the house with my mother and my aunt. We were packing up boxes and reminiscing. I walked into the spare bedroom, where I saw the stairs to the attic had been pulled down. I was 32, and I had my own attic with pull-down stairs by that time. But the lure remained. I HAD to see what was up there. My aunt heard me step up the first three rungs and yelled out, “Don’t go up there! It’s full of asbestos!” As I am apt to do, I said okay and went up anyway, but stealthily and quickly. It was gross. “Stuff” hung from the rafters, my eyes burned, I couldn’t breathe, and it felt like I was inhaling particles.

A dirty attic with poor insulation, similar to what was in my grandmother’s home.

But I did see my Fisher-Price castle with the working castle gate. I ran and snatched it like a thief in the night. The Lincoln Logs were covered in the debris that was hanging everywhere. On the floor, I saw what polite people would not refer to as “rodent turds,” but it most assuredly was. I ran to the kitchen with my castle and washed it off while my aunt looked at me unfavorably and told me that I should not be handling something covered with asbestos. Plus, I hadn’t listened to her and went up in the first place. She was right, of course.

It ended up that my aunt had specialists come out in hazmat suits and respirators to remove the toxic material in my grandmother’s attic and had it replaced with safe insulation. The lesson that I learned is that if you don’t know what’s in your attic, it can hurt you. I also learned that if you are pigheaded enough to ignore the pleas of your aunt and mother to stay out of an attic, you can score a childhood toy, but at what cost?

I’ll end this by saying: Know what’s in your attic. If you don’t know or don’t want to know, hire a professional to do this for you. Attics and More will provide a free complimentary home energy analysis, which includes inspection of your attic and crawlspace.

As for my Fisher-Price castle? It’s now safely inside my attic. I feel content, and some redemption, knowing it’s there.

,

Do Solar Attic Fans Work on Cloudy Days?

Yes. Superior quality multi-crystalline solar cell modules provide the power for all Attics And More solar fans. Because these panels have high-penetration light sensitivity from morning to evening, there is no need to adjust the angle of the panel to meet the sun’s rays. When the sun starts to rise, your Attics And More solar fan starts its day as well.

Multiple layers of high tech aerospace grade material, including low iron super glass, sandwich our imbedded solar panels to provide highly sensitive light penetration. This proprietary process also makes Attics And More’s solar fans weather proof in even the most sever weather conditions.

Receive a no-cost solar attic fan.

Contact Michele DuCoin at 856-809-2744 to schedule your free attic inspection and learn how to receive a no-cost solar attic fan!

What Makes Us Different Than Other Energy Savings Companies?

Everyone is looking to cut energy costs and go greener — and businesses know it.

Across New Jersey, thousands of energy savings companies are vying for your business, and at a certain point, the sheer number of options can seem suffocating.

Sure, certain things vary from company to company — financial programs, specific technology, contract parameters — but until you get to the finer details, it’s tough to distinguish any one company away from the pack. It’s not always easy to find a company you can trust.

So what exactly inspired me to write this article? A better question would be who inspired me. Recently out networking, I was approached by a complete stranger who flat out asked me: “What do you do better than anyone else?” At first, I felt my throat tighten up as I worried that I might not have a great answer for him, ultimately embarrassing myself and blowing an opportunity to make a good impression.

I couldn’t just say “We sell energy saving products.” For one, that would be greatly underselling ourselves, as you’ll hopefully soon realize. Not to mention it would be a pretty pathetic sales pitch. That would be like a chef of a restaurant saying, “I cook.” It leaves a lot on the table. Thinking on my feet, I was able to come up with three key points that differentiate Attics And More (Attics And More) from other New Jersey energy savings companies.

WE PROVIDE HOME-BY-HOME SOLUTIONS

When it comes to any technology there are always a lot of questions. Green energy is no different. In fact, it often necessitates more questions than other home improvement projects and technology because of its many considerations.

Many energy savings businesses circumvent this complexity by offering a small variety of products, or by asserting their singular product is the must-have antidote to every homeowner’s energy budgeting dilemmas.

The truth is, every home and property is a unique situation. Every household needs to be assessed on an individual level, and not every home is going to benefit the most from the exact same product. That’s why we pride ourselves on providing homeowners with an assortment of energy saving products to find the perfect fit for you.

Our process doesn’t start with a sales pitch — it begins with a discussion. As opposed to other companies that start conversations with “See how great our product is,” we simply ask homeowners: “Do you know what your home qualifies for?”

We have the ability to recommend the energy saving product that works best for your home and your budget. Whether your home best benefits from our multi-layer insulation or our solar-powered attic ventilation systems, we’re here to find the custom solution for you. Our products work for your home, not the other way around.

Many of our products work incredibly well when paired together, giving you and your home compounding energy savings that increase energy efficiency, home appreciation, and reduce your carbon footprint all at once.

WE COMPETE AGAINST OURSELVES

Competition is often a big, scary word in the business world. Many companies think of competition negatively. They associate it with the outside world closing in, trying to steal a piece of their pie. At Attics And More, we encourage competition because—from a customer’s viewpoint—it promotes better overall service and better value.

To better serve our customers, we have created independent brands, or sales teams, to compete against each other. An example of one of our brands is The Solar Ladies of New Jersey, which was launched as an opportunity to better communicate the advantages of switching to green energy power in New Jersey. Additional brands include “Solar Veterans” and “The Men of Energy.” Each brand works independently to promote renewable energy through community events, organized presentations, and in-home savings consultations.

By creating a healthy balance of internal competition and cross-company collaboration we make obtaining energy saving products for your home more relatable and easier to understand. Adding energy-efficient improvements is like any home buying decision—you need to work with someone you can trust.

The customer’s perspective is our reality. Consistently diversifying our field helps us realize the varying perspectives of homeowners in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, creating widespread trust in our company.

WE RELY ON OUR NETWORK OF POWER PARTNERS

To further build on trust, we look at how trust is built: with consistency. Most homeowners have a Rolodex, or filing cabinet, full of businesses and professionals they’ve worked with in the past. As my dad always said whenever a situation at home came up: “Don’t worry, I got a guy for that.”

Referrals and word-of-mouth remain strong buying influencers even in the Age of Google. In fact, a study by Business 2 Community found that over 80% of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind. In addition, incentive structure plays a big role in increasing referral activity.

Supporting a network of power partners is huge for us. We rely on real estate agents, general contractors, roofers, power washing companies, electricians, painters, and many other in-home professionals for introductions. The quality service and consistent approach provided by these companies is invaluable.

We provide complete support to make earning referral rewards for partners easy. Attics And More Power Partners receive customized marketing materials, access to our online referral software, detailed sales pipeline reports, social collaboration, and ongoing training and promotions to earn more rewards for their referrals.

Maintaining these relationships not only benefits our businesses, it also positively impacts our customers and their homes. Priorities always change from one home to the next. Maybe a homeowner really, really wants to remodel their bathroom. We have the ability to make that project financially justifiable. Using the projected energy savings from our products, and channeling the expertise from our home remodeling power partner, we can demonstrate an innovative way for that homeowner to fund their dream bathroom.

Don’t get us wrong. We are not home remodelers, or painters, or anything of that sort. We are green technology experts who have a focus on putting your energy savings to work for you and your home.

IN CONCLUSION

I once overheard a prospective customer say, “You’re all selling the same thing.” At the time, I took that personally, but realized that we as a company didn’t do a good job of explaining what makes us different from other companies.

As history has shown, technology will come and go in waves. Good companies have good technology. Great companies have great people. At any given moment, the green energy bubble in New Jersey may burst. All it takes is one swift act in legislature, as we have seen in other states like Hawaii and Maine. Our mission at Attics And More is to be an energy savings company that endures to build more efficient homes for our customers and planet.

,

Home Buyers Seeking Energy Efficient Homes

As the Baby Boomers have reached retirement age, they are scaling down their living spaces and expenses.   They will likely make-up the majority of the one in three U.S. households planning to move within the next five years.

According to Nielsen’s Demand Institute, US citizens of all ages will:

  • Invest over $7.4 trillion purchasing homes
  • $2.2 trillion renting
  • $700 billion renovating their current homes to prepare them for sale

Making a decision regarding housing encompasses many factors: where to go; buy or rent, Most often two different things.  The Demand Institute refers to this variance as the housing satisfaction gap. Recently the institute conducted a survey to identify the top ten features Americans want but don’t have in a residence.  The first choice among those polled…Energy Efficient Homes.  Surprised?  You shouldn’t be.

It’s important to remember that utility bills represent a significant portion of household budgets on an ongoing basis. The Demand Institute’s survey revealed that “Average household spending on home electricity has grown 56% since 2000 – compared to 38% for other housing-related expenses.” But cost wasn’t the only consideration.  Responses from a demographic that included several generations, both genders, and every socio-economic condition demonstrated a sound understanding of the impact of carbon emissions. They are tired of rewarding fossil fuel providers with higher fees for dirty energy.  They want energy that is clean as well as affordable.  Most importantly, citizens are clearly committed to leaving a safer planet for future generations.

Although Energy Efficiency was the first choice of home buyers, it wasn’t the only option they were seeking.  Others included:

  • Renovation ready – Approximately 78% of homeowners plan to invest on renovations to prepare their own homes for sale.  When they buy, they will be seeking homes that are new or require little if any renovations
  • Updated kitchens – Over 35% of homeowner respondents are unhappy with their present kitchens.  Trends indicate home owners will be seeking to upgrade their kitchens and buyer will be looking for modern kitchens with energy efficient appliances
  • Safe Neighborhoods – No matter the age bracket, homeowners want safer neighborhoods.  Crime rate will play for those seeking to buy a new home
  • Affordable homes – Homeowners want to be able to enjoy life as well as own a home.  They don’t want to fall into that category known as house poor. According to the Demand Institute’s s poll,   close to “40 million households in the U.S. are considered to have a housing cost burden because they spend 30% or more of their income on housing expenses”. Investigating the upkeep such as interior and exterior maintenance, lawn-care, and energy efficiency is just as important a considering the cost of the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and condo association fees (when applicable), etc.
  • Space – Many respondents, particularly those with children are seeking homes with more storage space.  Youngsters accumulate all kinds of things like books, toys, games, sporting equipment, etc.  Adults require their fair share of space, as well.  Storage always turns-out to be a plus
  • Real Estate as an investment – According to the Demand Poll, 77% of Americans believe homeownership remains a solid investment

In the market for a new home and want to know what to look for? Planning on downsizing and want to make your home more buyer-friendly? Contact us today for more information on what an energy efficient home really looks like! 856-809-2744.

, , ,

A Survey for Our Delaware Valley Neighbors – Part 2

In our previous blog post, we shared the first half of the results from our poll regarding area homeowners and their attic fans. Today we’re sharing the second half of our poll results along with ideas that will get you thinking about attic ventilation for your home. If you missed out on the first half of our poll results, click to read them here.

9%  I have a solar attic fan – works 365 days a year for free

We are conflicted here. We’re proud but sad that only 9% of respondents have a solar attic fan. We wish it was 99%!! The Department of Energy acknowledges the benefits of attic fans – especially the fact that they help reduce energy costs. Add in lowered energy costs with a federal tax credit for installing a solar attic fan, and you’re really getting the most bang for your buck. We are thrilled for the 9% of Delaware Valley homeowners that are saving serious money and energy.

If you aren’t included in this subset of Delaware Valley homeowners, we suggest that you take a look at our page about solar attic fans. Here you can learn about what you’re missing out on (hint: more money savings and fewer headaches).

9%  Oh that thing – it broke a long time ago…

Out of the hundreds of thousands of households in the Delaware Valley, it’s a shame that 9% of homeowners know their attic fan is broken but haven’t gotten it fixed. Energy Star states that the attic is one of the places where you often find the biggest air leaks, which increase your energy bills and make you uncomfortably hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

A broken attic fan not only puts the well-being of your home and family at risk (this is a huge fire hazard), but it also takes its toll on your wallet and your sanity during the extremes of the Delaware Valley seasons. We’ll come out and inspect your home for free and give you expert advice to optimize your attic – all you need to do is let us know that you need our assistance!

9%  You got me curious, I will contact you for an attic inspection.

This is great! The attic is one of the most forgotten rooms in your home, but it is also one of the most important rooms when it comes to regulating the temperature of your home. Send us a message, call us at 856-809-2744, or attend one of our free dinner presentations. We would love to tell you about the benefits of solar attic fans and help make your home more energy efficient.

0%  No idea if I have a fan or not. Do I need one?

Thankfully, nobody chose this response! If you aren’t sure about the state of your attic, view some of our findings at one of our neighbor’s homes in Cherry Hill. Your attic should be healthy and energy efficient, and free of mold, depleted insulation, exposed electrical wires, and rotting wood. If you find yourself in this category as you’re reading this article, drop us a line! We’ll come out and inspect your attic for free with no pressure – just discussion.