The byproducts of an energy-efficient home are lower energy bills
The byproducts of an energy-efficient home are lower energy bills, increased comfort levels and a safer, healthier living environment. Please visit this website
When I receive a call from someone who is looking to install or upgrade a heating or air conditioning system, the first thing I address is the energy efficiency of the home.
Without question, this is the most important component of heating and air conditioning design work.
No matter how high the quality or efficiency of the heating or cooling equipment, the performance will be compromised unless it is installed in an energy efficient home.
Suppose you install a super-duper, high tech heating system with the expectation of low energy bills and a high degree of comfort and the outdoor temperature is 10 degrees above zero and the wind chill factor is minus 20 degrees.
How comfortable would you be if you always left the front door halfway opened?
Do you think you would save money on your heating bills?
These probably sound like ridiculous questions but the truth is, many houses operate in this manner and the homeowner doesn’t even realize it.
Many homes have air leaks equivalent to an opened door, but they are not as obvious.
These openings are hidden from view and can account for as much as 60% of a heating bill.
Poor or shoddily installed insulation is another energy thief.
Whether you are building a new home or live in an older existing one, there are ways to increase your comfort and lower your energy bills.
The best way to an energy efficient home is to hire the right company.
If it’s a heating and conditioning company or an insulating company, find one that practices the “whole house approach” or the “house is a system approach”.
These people understand that every component of a house is inter-connected. One thing affects another.
These good companies are equipped with the proper tools that are used to test the house for air leaks and insulation quality as well as combustion safety of the heating appliances.
All insulation if installed properly is good and have advantages and disadvantages.
My favorite is spray foam insulation.
I like the fact it seals every nook and cranny, has good R-values and good moisture control qualities.
Though it costs more to have this installed, the energy savings and benefits far outweigh the higher initial cost.
The concern most people have is making the house too tight.
This is a valid concern, but there is a simple answer; mechanical ventilation.
This is done either by a simple bathroom exhaust fan or an energy recovery ventilator.
This allows you to control the amount of air entering and leaving the house vs. leaving intentional leaks and then depend on how hard the wind blows to bring fresh air into your home.
The mantra of the building science community is “build it tight, ventilate right”.
While there is no question some windows are constructed better than others, choosing windows are usually based on a budget or a fit with the architectural characteristics of the house.
To compare energy ratings, look at the label that is on the window.
This is the NFRC rating and indicates how much heat, wind and solar gain the window assembly transmits.
A lot of people who call us to perform an energy audit in their home think they need new windows.
We have recommended windows to less than 2% of these people.
Most problems are related to air leakage or poor insulation.
After getting your house in order, now it’s time to think about a good heating and air conditioning system to put the finishing touches on your energy efficient home.
Click here for more information and help for choosing a heating and air conditioning system that is right for you.
It doesn’t cost you to have an energy-efficient home, it pays!