Health Impacts of PM2.5

PM2.5 goals met. But is it enough?

Salt Lake City has met goals for reducing particulate matter in the air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

But, have you noticed the air quality getting better where you live? We’re for sure still concerned about the air where we live, and with good reason. The health impacts of PM2.5 high levels of particulate matter are well documented and downright scary.

Here’s the shortlist from the EPA:
  • premature death in people with heart or lung disease
  • nonfatal heart attacks
  • irregular heartbeat
  • aggravated asthma
  • decreased lung function
  • increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.

For more reading on the health impacts of particulate matter, you can download the EPA PDF on particulate matter exposure here.

The problem with how Utah met the clean air goals

In order to meet the particulate matter goals, an exemption had to be made concerning a number of bad air days over the past few years. In particular, days where fireworks and wildfires produced too much pollution and pushed the Salt Lake City area over the PM2.5 threshold. PM2.5 describes fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller, according to the EPA.

Utah’s plan to reduce these harmful particulates and reduce the health impacts of PM2.5 in the state has been in place since 2014, and while it’s great news that things haven’t gotten worse, one still has to wonder what they can do at their own home to ensure their family is as safe as possible.

What can you do to mitigate the health impacts of PM2.5?

The good news on that front is there are ways to seal your home and protect your family. A thorough in-home assessment is the best place to start eliminating the health impacts of PM2.5 in your own home.

A home assessment like those provided free of charge from one of our experts at ACES Lyfe, will provide you with a list of place you can seal your home and prevent those fine particulate matter particles from getting into your home.

Sealing can lights, attic vents, ducts, drywall joints and other areas where your home’s envelope has been pierced is the best place to start and can dramatically lower the levels of PM2.5 pollution that can enter your home.

Call today to get your free in-home assessment and we’ll be happy to show you how you can seal out PM2.5, and while you’re at it, you’ll lower your power and gas bills, and improve the comfort of your home as well!

Cart Before the Horse

Cart Before the Horse

Cart before the horse


We’ve all heard the expression the “CART BEFORE THE HORSE.” It’s an idiom used to suggest something is done contrary to the way it should be done, should have been done, or with the wrong emphasis.

Using this phrase in relation to “Energy Efficiency and Solar” solutions is a very relative topic and is addressed daily as we consult with our clients and our own representatives.

Whenever I am conversing with people about their energy issues and educating them on the solutions that we provide, by default they immediately refer to renewable energy, wind, batteries, solar, etc. Of those items, the most expensive is the Solar option. While there is most definitely a significant need for renewable energy such as solar, it most definitely needs to be placed “BEHIND THE HORSE!”

Purchasing solar for a house that is “energy-inefficient” is… putting the “CART BEFORE THE HORSE.” It would be the epitome of throwing dollars out of your vehicle window while driving down the road. It makes little sense to add solar panels to a home that has clapped out air ducts, poor insulation, no ventilation, a passive attic environment, unbalanced attic air and exhaust flow, 50-year-old windows, and/or other inefficient problems. Putting energy efficiency before solar, on the other hand, makes a whole lot more sense.  

Typical home energy improvements need to be implemented before the plunge into solar, and there are a few steps that can be taken to make your home or business more efficient first. Examples are:

  • Stop using some of the devices or units that are drawing substantial power
  • Limit the daily use of units or items
  • Find less expensive alternatives for the power consuming items that you have
  • Ventilate your attic space properly and balanced
  •  Insulate your attic space with the proper solution(s)
  • Create a positive/passive environment by way of exhaust fans that are solar powered 
  • Replace existing light bulbs (where most of the energy used turns into heat rather than light) with LED bulbs
  • Upgrade your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • Replace your old refrigerator and freezer with new, high-efficiency models (either energy-efficient or propane)
  • Replace high energy consumption loads (high-wattage electric stoves, clothes dryers, water heaters, heating appliances)
  • Make an external and/or an internal isolation of your home
  • Utilize your large electrical loads (pool pumps, electrical mills, etc.) during off-peak hours
  • Install solar water heaters and summer shading
  • Utilize devices with timers and other home automation systems
  • If you live in the U.S., when shopping for electrical appliances, look for devices labeled with Energy Star® labels


ACES provides many solutions and improvements with examples like sealing air leaks around floors, walls, ceilings, windows, doors, and fireplaces, to spray foam, and weather stripping, amongst many other things we do and offer. The energy savings from reducing drafts in a home alone, not including your attic, can range from 5% to 30%+ per year, and the home is much more comfortable and healthier afterward. What I have experienced is that 99% of the time, and I don’t use that number lightly, the energy efficiency solutions and repairs are less expensive, but most importantly necessary before adding solar. 

create EEcreate They are also necessary for comfort, as well as the obvious fiscal benefits. Upon completing energy efficiency upgrades and repairs for our clients, across the board our clients experience an average savings of 30%, with some clients exceeding 40% or more! What does this mean? This means that instead of a solar system that offsets 100% of your power needs, you now would only need to purchase a system that offsets 70% of your needs. The energy efficiency upgrades and repairs will account for the 30% balance. AND… you now get to enjoy the comfort and health benefits on top of the pocket-book! 

The Energy Efficiency Before Solar Solution 

So let’s be honest with ourselves and just look at this subject from an elementary perspective. Energy efficiency before solar just makes sense simply because saving energy is less expensive than producing it. By improving energy efficiency the cost of the photovoltaic (solar) system you are going to install will be reduced. The more energy you need, the more energy has to be generated. This again means that to meet your daily electricity needs, you have to buy a system that is sufficient enough to offset what you need. So putting the comfort and health benefits aside for a moment, we must not forget about the fiscal benefits of energy efficiency and solar. They are definitely attractive!, but the cart needs to remain “BEHIND THE HORSE”.

The “CART BEFORE THE HORSE” concept is imperative to reverse or realign correctly so that your R.O.I. is quicker and so that it makes the most sense. While the amount of savings varies by state, even a small reduction in dependency on traditional energy sources can indeed have a profound impact on a household budget, especially over time. Many homeowners find that the benefits from solar far outweigh the initial costs, combined with the cost of installation continuing to drop each year as well.

For our eco-conscious homeowners/clients, we know that they rely on a number of materials, installation techniques, and appliances that can help, but the one thing that has been increasing in popularity as it decreases in price is indeed solar. The single most significant problem that I see on a regular basis is that solar has to be, and must be, “Post Efficiency Solutions/Repairs and Upgrades”. That doesn’t mean that if you have solar already that you’re toast! Efficiency solutions should still be implemented with no hesitation. The point that I am driving home is that the ball is in your court if you haven’t installed solar yet! You’ll end up with less solar on your home and the same fiscal benefits, not to forget all of the comfort and health benefits.

Your Invitation to Energy Efficiency: 

Do it the right way and accomplish your goals! If you already have solar, you still have the option to place the cart “BEHIND THE HORSE”, and improve the efficiency of your home! Your ROI will be longer but it still makes sense. If you don’t have solar yet, experience a quicker and more cost effective outcome and put the cart “BEHIND THE HORSE” starting from day one. Placing the cart “BEHIND THE HORSE”, making your home as efficient as possible first, allows you to experience increased savings, a quicker ROI, a healthier home, and a more comfortable home! This is indeed the way forward! 


What are you waiting for?

5 Energy Suckers In Your Home

5 Energy Suckers In Your Home

There are many different components of our electric bill. In order for us to cut down our electric bill, we have to understand where our energy is being used.

Let’s go ahead and find those little electricity suckers that like to zap out all of the energy in your home making your electric bill go through the roof.

Space Cooling

Number one on the list comes as no surprise. Anyone who has ever been in the middle of summer with a broken air conditioner and sweat dripping down your face knows that cooling your home is totally worth the money you put into it.

But,  there are ways to keep your power bill low. Instead of blasting the air conditioner (and kissing all of your money goodbye) you can take simple actions to keep your home cool and the power bill at a reasonable price.

Implementing solar-powered ventilation systems throughout your home is an excellent play to begin.

Not only do solar attic fans and crawl space ventilation systems remove heat to keep you cool, but they also prevent moisture buildup, which can run rampant on your home and cause damage if not controlled properly.

Water Heating

Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home. The biggest users of hot water are the clothes washer, shower, and dishwasher.

To conserve hot water, you can fix leaks, install low-flow fixtures, and purchase an energy-efficient dishwasher and clothes washer.

You can conserve even more energy by making sure your dishwasher is completely full when you run it and that your clothes washer has a good sized load.

If you have an old hot water heater, you may be able to squeeze a few more years out of it and improve its overall efficiency by installing a hot water heater wrap.

In order to know if your hot water tank needs insulation, simply touch it. If it’s warm. a hot water heater wrap or blanket could be just what is needed.


By the lights that are consistently left on in a home even when there is no one in there, you would think that the whole world has a fear of the dark.  

As nice as it is to always be in the light, it has a negative effect on our pocketbooks. Aside from turning off the lights when you are not in a room, have you switched out all of your old incandescent bulbs?

If not, that should be the first thing on your to-do list. LED lighting products use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent lighting and last 35 to 50 times longer.

So not only are you saving some dough, but you also won’t have to replace your lightbulbs as often. That sounds like a win-win to us!

ACES Lyfe has LED lighting options that are bound to make your life easier and less expensive.


There’s no use crying over spilled milk. But there is a reason to cry over expired milk: it stinks! No wonder why we set the thermostat on the refrigerator to sub-arctic temperatures…

Did you know that an older refrigerator uses nearly twice as much energy as a new refrigerator?

If you’re looking for an excuse to purchase a new fridge, here is the perfect one. Just be sure that the refrigerator you are buying has earned the energy star.

You can save more than $270 over the next five years and reduce your carbon footprint by 3,600 pounds when replacing an older refrigerator with one that’s earned the energy star.

Space Heating

Shivering for hours is not something that most people find enjoyable. There are only so many blankets and wool sweaters that can be pulled out of storage before enough is enough.

Staying warm in the cold winter months doesn’t have to entail piles and piles of blankets and seeing your breath in your own home.

But, you shouldn’t have to run your heater 24/7 in order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

Make sure that your home is sealed and insulated properly to reduce heating costs. Sealing cracks and common leak areas in the home, such as your attic, doorways, and windows, can prevent the heat that you pay for from escaping outside. No reason to pay for that heat if it’s just going to make its way outside anyway. There’s no need to pay for the snow to melt–that’s why they make rock salt and snow blowers!

In addition to preventing heat from escaping, sealing and insulating helps stop the cool air outside during the winter from invading your home. This all results in you cranking up the heat a little less.

ACES Lyfe has excellent products that can help you keep the warm air inside your home during the cold months.

Keep Your Power Bill Low

Let us not forget about other consumption culprits that tend to sneak energy right from under our noses. They include televisions and related equipment, clothes dryers, and cooking.

Turning off unused lights and appliances can certainly help keep your power bill low, but what if you want to save more?

Fortunately, you don’t need to live in the dark to decrease your electricity usage. Leave the breaker on, and let ACES Lyfe help you have a more energy efficient and cost effective home.

From attic based products like multi-layer reflective insulation and solar fans to innovative lighting products to thermal insulation coatings, we are able to keep your home comfortable without having to fork out an arm and a leg to do so.

ACES Lyfe offers a free energy evaluation in order to help you realize the things in your home that could use a bit of help with your overall efficiency.

Fill out the form below to schedule an energy efficiency evaluation and start saving more energy today!

*Thank You to YellowBlue for providing content.

Keep Your Cooling Systems In Tip-Top Shape with Bluemaxx

Keep Your Cooling Systems In Tip-Top Shape with Bluemaxx

Clogged arteries are a common problem that many people face, bit by bit, their arteries become clogged until it is too late and they can barely function.

And it’s a lot like oil fouling.

Just as arteries get clogged over time, heating, ventilation and air conditioning units accumulate oil on the compressor from different lubricants.

These oil deposits begin to build up over the course of time, thus decreasing the efficiency of your HVAC system.

The good news is there is something you can do about it.

What is oil fouling?

Oil fouling is defined as the accumulation of unwanted oil deposits in the oil system. During the refrigerant compression process, oil migrates from the compressor to the coil system contaminating metals that transfer heat.

Compressors that use oil for lubrication do not prevent oil from fouling the coil system.

Even the tiniest amount of oil in the coil system creates a film or coating that will hinder heat transfer and will reduce the efficiency of the unit.

Research shows oil fouling of heat transfer surfaces of air conditioning and refrigeration systems will cause a loss of about 7 percent efficiency in the first year, 5 percent in the second year, and 2 percent per year the following years to a peak degradation of between 20 and 30 percent.

That’s a huge degradation over time! Many people aren’t aware that their air conditioning and refrigeration systems are degrading in efficiency so rapidly.

How does oil fouling impact air conditioning and refrigeration systems?

Lubricating oil is a necessary evil needed for most mechanical compressors used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

It’s normal for up to 8 percent of the compressor’s lubricating oil to circulate through the system with the refrigerant.

While a small amount of oil in circulation is not harmful, larger amounts of oil can cause more issues:

  • Oil circulating with the refrigerant is not in the compressor crankcase where it should be. As a result, bearings and other parts may not be properly lubricated. Adding more oil after start-up to compensate is not a solution, because the amount of oil circulating with the refrigerant is not consistent throughout the system.
  • Excess oil may accumulate in the evaporator and then return to the compressor in a slug. This could overfill the crankcase and possibly damage the compressor.
  • Excessive amounts of oil in an evaporator decrease the capacity of a system. If suction pressure controls the compressor, it stops running at a higher temperature when the vapor pressure is reduced. If evaporating temperature controls the compressor, then it runs longer to maintain a given temperature when the vapor pressure is reduced. Third, oil in the refrigerant may cause restrictions in expansion valves or capillaries, and thus reduce refrigerant flow.
  • Circulating oil may break down at hot spots in the system and cause varnishing and valve sticking. It may react with the refrigerant at high temperatures and form acids.

Reduce oil fouling with Bluemaxx

Oil fouling can be reduced by using Bluemaxx. Bluemaxx can improve efficiency and save money on air-cooled and water-cooled systems.

Bluemaxx is a stable, non-corrosive liquid that is added to the refrigerant of a cooling system, helping to reduce A/C energy consumption and increase cooling capacity.

The liquid evaporates refrigerant at a higher temperature, thus taking more heat out of the air, making colder air come out of the supply vents.

It works with all common refrigerants, improving the transfer of heat coils, delivering colder vent air and removing oil fouling.

What are the financial benefits of reducing oil fouling?

The greatest advantage of Bluemaxx is that it extends the life of your cooling systems.

The life of your compressor should last longer, maintenance costs should be reduced, and cooling costs, in general, should decrease.

Beyond that, you will live more comfortably in cooler air with less pressure on your systems overall.

Want to learn more about saving money and living more comfortably?

Your compressor is like your arteries and the oil that accumulates is like cholesterol. If you aren’t able to pump blood (cold air) through your arteries (compressor), the system fails (heart attack, no cold air).

Bluemaxx, a synthetic refrigerant additive, helps reduce oil fouling, kind of like a Lipitor for your compressor.

The oil deposit has a stronger affinity to the chemical compounds in Bluemaxx than it does to the metal coils in the compressor.

It is then circulated throughout the system, allowing better flow and a cooler feeling system.

Consider using a synthetic refrigerant enhancer to pack a powerful punch that can help your home or business be more comfortable for less money.

ACES Lyfe can help you create a more energy efficient space with the Bluemaxx product. Give Aces a call and we can get an energy assessment scheduled to help you have the most energy efficient and comfortable space possible.

Fill out the form below and schedule a free energy assessment from ACES. 

Thank You To YellowBlue For The Content

Benefits Of A Smart Time Sprinkler

Benefits Of A Smart Time Sprinkler

Updating your sprinkler timer is a smart move. Most sprinkler timers are not only difficult to use and to program, but they are also just plain inefficient.

Sprinkler timers exist to make our lives easier and more convenient, however dealing with a dying lawn or a sky-high water bill is the opposite of convenience.

Why Invest In A Smart Time Sprinkler?

Smart sprinkler timers not only cut down on water consumption by over thirty percent, but they also give the end user the ability to have complete control of when, where, and how much they water. 

Updating your sprinkler timer is a smart move. Most sprinkler timers are not only difficult to use and to program, but they are also just plain inefficient.

Sprinkler timers exist to make our lives easier and more convenient, however dealing with a dying lawn or a sky-high water bill is the opposite of convenience.

Smart sprinkler timers not only cut down on water consumption by over thirty percent, but they also give the end user the ability to have complete control of when, where, and how much they water. 

Smart timers can be programmed on the control panel or through a mobile app. If you know how to send a text message, then you are knowledgeable enough to use the app to schedule your watering schedule. 

During the original programming of the timer, the user will input various data points that help the system to run at peak efficiency.

A few things you can enter in are the soil type, shade rating (full, partial, none), landscape slope, the total number of sprinklers heads per zone, and sprinkler head (out spray) type. 

After inputting these data points the system will be ready to run efficiently. Sprinkler timers pull from local weather data.

Some of them update as frequently as every 15 minutes! 

Based on past, present, and future weather patterns your smart timer will update its watering schedule and behavior assuring that your lawn and shrubbery gets the optimal amount of water supply in addition to the amount of rainfall that has fallen.

Often times homeowners are surprised to find that their system is running much less than previously with their old timer. Smart timers water less frequently, but for longer periods of time in most cases.

This takes the rooting system of the plant out of a state of dependency and forces the rooting system to drive deeper and tap into rich soil nutrients helping the lawn to be greener, healthier, and more luscious. 

One of our favorite features is the Wi-Fi capability and being able to monitor water consumption, gauge savings, turn on/off individual zones or the system as a whole.

A lot of systems also have available add-ons and features like faucet timers to allow additional convenience and water consumption reduction. 

Save Money With A Smart Time Sprinkler

Smart timers always end up saving the user BIG time and BIG money. These timers are not only good on the pocketbook but better on the planet.

Over 70% of home water consumption is outdoors and these new systems are one of the easiest ways to do your part in cutting back on water supply in your area.

The benefit of these timers goes WAY beyond fiscal. 

ACES Lyfe is here to help you save money and create a more energy efficient space. Give ACES Lyfe a call and see how you can start saving money and saving the planet. 

The 411 On Insulation

The 411 On Insulation

What is attic insulation?

What do you imagine when you read the word ‘insulation’?

If you imagine the pink, cotton-candy fluff that hangs out in your attic, you’re going in the right direction.

Many homeowners know what insulation looks like, but don’t know exactly how it is working in their home. More importantly, they aren’t sure when it’s NOT working — and costing them money.

Insulation comes in a variety of different types and sizes. Insulation performs some of the most important functions but is oftentimes one of the most overlooked things in the house.

Its main function is providing resistance to heat flow and helping to lower heating and cooling costs.

The Department of Energy lists nine different types of insulation on its website.

Some forms are bulky and are comprised of fiberglass, wool, cellulose, and natural fibers. Other forms of insulation are sleek foils and rigid foam boards.

Each type of insulation has good and bad. A certain type of insulation may be more effective than another.

Regardless of its form, insulation’s primary role is to reduce heating and cooling costs and improve home comfort.

Why is attic insulation important?

Insulation acts like a sweater to keep everything that’s surrounded by it warm and happy. Attic insulation regulates a large part of the home’s internal temperature.

It provides a critical barrier to the elements and the temperature changes that occur. The Department of Energy suggests attic insulation should have no less of an R-value of R-30. This guarantees home comfort throughout the seasons.

During the colder months, insulation in the attic works to regulate the temperature inside the home. It does this by keeping the warm air in and keeping the cold air out.

During the summertime, insulation protects the home from the heat by keeping the house cool. Insulation helps keep air-conditioned rooms at a comfortable temperature.

Insulation is key to maintaining home comfort and helping you avoid wasting money on air conditioning costs.

Acting as a barrier, insulation helps keep unwanted environmental toxins outside of your home.

When attic insulation decays or degrades, it stops performing how it is meant to. When this happens, the internal temperature of the home may begin to fluctuate or become irregular.

Old and damaged insulation contributes significantly to the home’s overall energy efficiency. As a result, fluctuating temperatures can cause substantial increases in the energy bill.

It is key to have insulation that is in top condition in order to keep your energy costs from increasing.

What are some common problems that can affect insulation?

Uneven blown insulation

Homeowners can rent a machine to install their own insulation. However, the material is rarely distributed evenly throughout the attic.

This leads to large amounts of insulation in one area and not enough insulation in other areas. Uneven distribution of insulation dramatically reduces its effectiveness.

Areas of missing insulation at skylights

The enclosed shaft that runs through the attic to the skylight requires insulation around it. Installed insulation batts in these areas are prone to loosening and falling onto the floor of the attic.

Missing insulation at repaired areas

This may sound like a silly one. Insulation is often moved during a repair and is never put back into place.

When making repairs, be sure that the insulation is properly installed.

Compacted insulation

This problem may sound interesting, but it is common. Insulation loses its effectiveness when it is constantly being compressed by being walked on or having boxes stored on it loses its insulation ability.

Insufficient R-value 

Over the years, fiberglass batt insulation gradually collapses and deteriorates. This lowers the insulation’s R-value. High R-value keeps the cozy, warm air in your home in the winter and keeps cool, refreshing air in your home during the summer.

No insulation in areas that have been converted to living spaces 

It’s easy to forget that porches, carports, attic spaces, or garages that are remodeled need insulation in order to keep your home comfortable and to avoid high energy costs.

No adequate insulation in kneewalls

 Kneewalls are vertical walls between the house and the attic. These typically occur where ceiling heights change. Vaulted ceilings or skylight wells require proper installation.

Uninsulated attic access

 Insulation at the attic access point is essential. A batt of fiberglass insulation can easily be attached to the piece of sheetrock that covers the access point.

What could damage my insulation?

As homes age, it is common for insulation issues to come to light. Homeowners often do not know that there is a problem with their installation until they actually go into the attic to get into their storage.

Insulation problems related to age include old and deteriorating insulation to fallen insulation within the attic’s interior walls.


Insulation may also be affected by other factors such as harbored allergens, toxins, or mold. If left unaddressed, these problems have the potential to cause sickness.

These problems could also cause damage to the structure of your home. Monitoring the insulation in the attic can dramatically lower energy costs and improve the health of your loved ones.


There is also a likelihood that pests have made their way and possibly even made their homes in your attic insulation. Pests like bugs, small critters, and bats consider attic insulation a safe, warm, and secure environment without disruption.

There is a high chance that pests are living in your attic if your attic is not used frequently, or has points that are weak and exposed to the elements.

A sign of a pest problem in your attic is the presence of scratching noises or unexplained movement in your attic. It is imperative to remove the damaged insulation once a pest problem is identified.

Ice dams

 Ice dams occur in the wintertime when warm air rises to the top of your snow-covered roof. The warm air melts the snow at the top of the roof.

Melted snow then flows down to the eaves and gutters where it then refreezes. The build-up of ice prevents proper drainage and results in water seeping back into the home. This water causes damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

If you are uncertain about the state of your attic insulation, ACES Lyfe will be able to help you.

How do I fix my insulation problems?

ACES Lyfe is here to help you fix any insulation problems you have and restore the comfort level you are looking for back to your home.

Our insulation products are some of the best in the industry and are sure to keep your energy costs down. Our Multi-layer insulation is a revolutionary technology that was developed by NASA. It can cut your energy costs in half!

ACES Lyfe can conduct a free energy assessment on your home and help you know the best places to install your installation and what other steps you can take to create a more energy efficient home.

Fill out the form below to sign up for a free energy assessment.

Thank You To YellowBlue For The Content