If you have not worked with a home performance contractor and have never had the efficiency of your home evaluated, it is safe to say that your home is under performing. Even if your home was recently built to code, there are systems within your home that are not working together as they should be. These inefficiencies are making your home uncomfortable and your utility bills higher than they should be. Below, you will see a diagram of a common home with certain areas highlighted. These are problem areas we see in the majority of homes that we work in. If any of these areas are making you uncomfortable in your home, call us and we can help you understand what is causing the issue and what we can do to solve it!
The basement bond, or rim joist, is where your home sits on its foundation and is always a large area of heat loss and air leakage. Current building code calls for fiberglass insulation to be placed in these bond cavities, however using fiberglass in this situation is completely ineffective. Fiberglass insulation does not stop any air infiltration, which means all winter long cold air freely sinks into your basement causing a number of problems. We recommend removing the fiberglass and applying high density spray foam insulation to completely seal and insulate this area.
Much like the rim joist, penetrations leading to the the exterior of your home fitted with water spigots, your A/C line, or your main electrical service, allow for large amounts of air to infiltrate into your home.
Old mechanical systems such as furnaces, A/C units, and water heaters can be a major drain on your utility bill! New units can be smaller, quieter, and almost twice as efficient. If any of your mechanical units are older than 10 years old, recent advances in technology would be able to save you considerably on your utility bill.
Old doors and windows can be major sources of inefficiency in your home. Drafts caused by leaking windows and doors can make a home very uncomfortable. Even if a window is not leaking air, high levels of thermal transfer can make for hot rooms in the summer and cold rooms in the winter. Our new highly efficient windows and doors exceed Energy Star standards, stop air infiltration, and keep thermal transfer to a minimum.
Air leakage to the attic is one of the largest contributors to heat loss that we see in homes. Things such as recessed lights, attic hatches, and whole house fans allow large volumes of conditioned air to flow directly out of your home. When air has a direct path out of your home, your insulation does not even get a chance to work to its full potential. Sealing these areas will allow your home to retain the air you are paying to heat and cool, and make you far more comfortable.
Even if your attic is properly air sealed, if you do not have adequate levels of insulation, this can be one of the largest areas of heat loss. Homes with insufficient levels of insulation are always hot in the summer and cold in the winter, making them unpleasant to live in and expensive to heat and cool. Your attic should have between an R-49 and R-60 level of insulation no matter what the material. Not sure what you have? We would be more than happy to tell you!
Cold floors are typically a sign of inefficiencies below. As in this diagram, the floors are being made cold by a drafty uninsulated crawl space. If unconditioned air is allowed to come in contact with the uninsulated floor above, it can make rooms unbearably cold. Closed cell spray foam insulation sealing and insulating the walls of the crawl space will make a world of difference for the floor and room above!