The summer heat is upon us, and the right insulation can make the difference between a poorly or properly cooled home. At Green Apple Foam (25 Papworth Ave., Metairie; 408 N. Columbia St., Covington, 258-2464; www.greenapplefoam.com) Ed and Jo Ann Lozes specialize in spray foam insulation, a technique widely used in commercial properties. Only recently has it been used in homes.
The benefits of spray foam insulation can be seen on homeowners' electric bills and taxes. "Spray foam is the highest-performing air barrier, and it carries the highest (energy) ratings per square inch," Ed says. "It reduces the HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] load by as much as 35 percent. This saves on installation costs on new construction projects — and saves as much as 50 percent on monthly utility bills for both new construction and retrofits."
Tax incentives give homeowners additional motivation to make their homes more energy efficient. The Louisiana Home Energy Rebate Option (HERO) program, Energy Smart and other programs offer homeowners a chance to get money back after a spray foam installation. Most homeowners can receive a federal tax credit of $500.
Benefits also include stopping wall condensation, mold and mildew, and improving indoor air quality. "A typical attic, on a hot summer day, with no shade, it's about 135-138 degrees," Ed says. "Spray an adequate amount of foam in there, it should be ... about 85-88 degrees. Because you're dropping that heat load by such a percentage, the air-conditioning unit is not working nearly as hard, and it's delivering much cooler air."
Ed and Jo Ann both have extensive experience in the construction and home contracting business, and each brings their own special expertise to the company. Jo Ann uses her degrees in journalism and business administration to give each client special care. Ed began his own painting company when he was 21, and expanded into building custom homes. "After [Hurricane Katrina], we were building in the Gulf Coast area and there wasn't anyone spraying foam insulation the way we thought it should be done," he says.
For the Lozes, owning a business in their hometown is a satisfying feeling. "We're very proud of our reputation in the New Orleans area," Lozes says. "We've been in the home improvement industry for over 30 years, and we've built our reputation on customer satisfaction. A job is never complete until the homeowner or contractor is completely satisfied."
The company's name has an eco-friendly ring, which reflects the way Ed and Jo Ann feel about their work. "Green apples carry a healthy, clean and wholesome connotation," Ed says. "This is how we want people to feel about our company. We're honest contractors with a wholesome reputation, and we leave every project broom-swept clean."