Costly energy bills for cooling remain one of the main scourges of summer in the Gulf Coast region. Jo Ann Lozes, co-owner of Green Apple Foam (25 Papworth Ave., Metairie; 408 N. Columbia St., Covington, 877-464-7336; www.greenapplefoam.com), helps customers combat energy-draining leaks by installing spray foam insulation. She and husband Edward started their company when they learned about the energy-conserving, cost-saving potential of spray foam compared to traditional batting insulation.
"All these wonderful old houses have ... so much character, but they were built before this new [insulation] technology was even thought of," Lozes says. "Depending on how much of their house is insulated in spray foam, [homeowners] can save as much as 50 percent on their utility bills. We think this is the future for both residential and commercial [buildings.]"
Significant savings often assuage any misgivings homeowners may have about the higher initial outlay cost of spray foam, she says.
The couple draws on their experience as residential contractors to help run Green Apple Foam, which services the area from Baton Rouge to Pascagoula, Miss. They install a variety of spray foams in existing homes as well as during new construction. Area homes, Lozes says, rarely have adequate insulation for extreme temperatures.
"When you step out of bed in an old New Orleans house with hardwood floors, you can actually feel the cold coming up through the floors," she says. Spray foam can be injected beneath any surface material of the house, insulating from all sides, rather than the traditional method of insulating from the roof downward. This top-down strategy contributes to inefficient air conditioning and blazing hot attics in summertime.
Lozes stresses the importance of building relationships with clients in an area in which many have been burned by out-of-town contractors. Ed Lozes brought a clientele from his former painting and siding business to Green Apple Foam, and the couple makes a point of standing behind their product in the years following installation. They feel committed to the Gulf Coast region, both on a personal level and as a company.
"Being a local person ... I want somebody that I can depend on," Jo Ann says. "If it's anything to do with the construction of a house [we worked on], I'm going to take care of it, no matter how many years down the road."
In addition to its pocketbook-friendly qualities, spray foam insulation suppresses noise and minimizes dust. But its ecological dividends ultimately may be the best part of the insulation — its benefits stretching far beyond the home where it is installed.
"The best way to conserve is to use less [energy]," Jo Ann says. "Everybody has a responsibility to conserve our natural resources."