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The Relationship Between Energy Efficiency and Your Home’s Building Envelope

The Relationship Between Energy Efficiency and Your Home's Building EnvelopeThe level of comfort, efficiency and protection your home’s building envelope provides depends on your home’s construction and maintenance. The relationship between your home’s building envelope and efficiency is determined by your home’s structural integrity, the load placed on your HVAC system and your monthly energy bills.

Keep reading to learn how to protect your home investment, how to reduce energy bills, as well as how to increase home comfort.

Home Envelope and Energy Efficiency

Your home’s building envelope separates your living space from unconditioned areas. This envelope is constructed of the materials, devices and systems that comprise your home’s ceiling, flooring, walls and roofing. An efficient home envelope is sealed and insulated to prevent heat gain/loss via air leaks into and out of your living space.

Sealing, Insulation and IAQ

Signs of an inefficient envelope include drafty rooms, high or low indoor humidity, condensation on windows, mold growth and high energy bills. Sealing air leaks around your windows and doors should be a priority. Tubular weatherstripping works well for doors, while foam weatherstripping can effectively seal window sashes.

Check the insulation level in your attic, walls and floor. Attic insulation should be between R-49 and R-60, as suggested by Energy Star. Fiberglass or cellulose are practical materials. Walls may also be insulated with spray-in foam or loose fill. Rigid foam board works well in crawlspaces and basements.

Moisture problems, such as dry wintry air or humid summertime air, can be partly alleviated with efficient air sealing. However, mechanical whole-house ventilation, dehumidification or humidification systems may be needed for optimal home efficiency, healthful IAQ and comfort. Consult your HVAC professional for suggestions that can benefit your Fresno home.

Maintenance and Energy Audit

Home maintenance is important for driving efficiency and catching small issues before they become expensive problems. Ask your HVAC professional to perform a home inspection during your next A/C or furnace preventive maintenance visit. For the best home efficiency results, request an energy audit to detail where your home uses and wastes the most energy.

For more information about your home’s building envelope, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning in the Fresno area today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “alexmillos/Shutterstock”