The graph below shows which structural air-leaks drive up energy costs the most, allowing you to maximize efforts toward reinforcing your home's building envelope.
It Might Not be your Air Conditioner - Maybe it’s the ducts
If you’ve ever had a comfort issue in the summer in your house you may have thought something to the effect of “what wrong with my air conditioner”? While there might be something wrong with the AC, it might also be something else causing your house to be uncomfortable. To cool your house there are really three different systems that come into play:
In this installment of Green Building Advisor's "Job Site Visits" series, building science guru Joe Lstiburek explains why insulating a house to the highest standards won't do much good if the home still has significant air leakage.
Ceiling fans would seem, at first glance, to be a smart tool in the overall mix of your home's energy efficency equipment. But too few know that their real value is when they're blowing on people--and many experts say they're essentially worthless and counterproductive if people aren't present in the home.
Carl Seville, a Green Building Consultant and expert from Atlanta, wrote a provocatively named post recently: Ceiling Fans are Evil on the Green Building Advisor blog.
Here's a direct quote: "I am not suggesting that we should not use ceiling fans — just that they shouldn’t be on if no one is in the room. If people only use them when necessary and set their thermostat a bit higher, then the extra heat is a small price to pay for the comfort and energy savings."
Using a blower door--a device that sucks the air out of your house to simulate an especially windy day--is the best way to identify where your house leaks. For many of us, a thousand little pin pricks may add up to a hole in your house the size of a window left open 24 hours a day, 365 says per year.
By using a blower door in coordination with air sealing, we can identify the biggest leaks and get them sealed.
This video from Green Building Advisor shows how it's done.
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