8 Strategies for Better Energy Efficiency in a Retrofit or Addition Part 1

Homes built as recently as the 1980s are riddled with gaps in the building envelope and have far too little insulation to measure up to modern energy efficiency standards. Retrofitting an old home will make it more comfortable, will reduce energy costs and will make it kinder on the environment. The question is; where do you get the most bang for your retrofitting buck? Here is a basic guide to help you to decide where your money is best spent.

Read The Full Post »

Air-Sealing for Effective Building Envelopes

An effective building envelope is a combination of insulating building materials and a reduction in air leakage. This reduction can be achieved by using taller wall sheathing panels and through effectively sealing air leaks. When determining which air leaks construction professionals should focus on, Dave Wolf from Owens Corning Science and Technology has conducted a study to see which leaks require the least effort and sealant and provide the highest returns in building envelope efficiency.

Read The Full Post »

Creating the Perfect Crawlspace

The best way to design a crawlspace that accentuates your building envelope and does not allow unwanted moisture into the home is to treat them as if they were miniature basement spaces. Crawlspaces should be insulated, sealed and all exposed masonry should be covered to prevent condensation.

Read The Full Post »

Are Triple-Pane Windows a Good Investment?

As efficient building envelopes become more of a priority for builders, you may be considering investing in triple-pane windows for the R-value they offer. The technology behind window design has improved in leaps and bounds as manufacturers attempt to overcome the poor insulation value that windows traditionally offer the home builder. Unfortunately, the improved insulation comes at a high price. Do triple-pane windows offer sufficient energy-saving to justify the investment?

Read The Full Post »

Energy Efficient Walls: Efficient Windows

The building envelope is only as effective as its weakest element and all too often these areas the doors and windows in a home which can account for up to a third of the overall energy loss according to the APA. Not only do these openings lead to energy loss, but as a result of less than appropriate levels of insulation, condensation can occur, which can lead to damage and can cause mold and mildew. Technological advances have seen the creation of advanced window and door systems which prevent energy loss and condensation.

Read The Full Post »

Energy Efficient Walls: Seal Efficiently

Insulation is the key to energy savings only if it is accompanied by an effective air barrier. Gaps and holes in your air barrier will mitigate the efficacy of even the most robust insulation. When any holes in the building envelope are effectively sealed, the homeowner can expect to save up to 30% of their home energy bills.

Read The Full Post »