Know the Difference Part II: Insulated Space
Every other month or so, Collier lets you know what makes green homes different. It’s part of our Know the Difference newsletter series which brings you information on homes, homeownership, homeowner tips and sustainable building practices.
From selecting materials to putting the finishing touches on your next project, there is a lot to know about the construction process and homeownership. Last time, we brought you 5 Easy Questions to Ask When Choosing Green Products.
Today, we’d like to explain what insulated space really means to your home’s energy efficiency. It’s an important part of our Whole Systems Approach to construction which helps reduce a home’s energy consumption while improving home quality and longevity.
A Whole Systems Approach means controlling the temperature in every part of a home, including the crawl space and attic. Keeping temperature the same throughout the whole home helps eliminate the risk for mold, mildew, rot and termite damage. So we insulate, seal and condition. These are the three most effective strategies for reducing a home’s energy consumption and ensuring its longevity.
Why Insulate Your Crawl Space:
In a mixed humid climate, the last thing we want to do is allow warm wet air to enter from underneath our house where that space is cool and dry. Because when hot humid air meets cool 72 degree lumber it condenses and sets on floor joists, the bottom of the floor and on the walls. This results in mold, mildew, rot and termites. A green home must have dry spaces throughout the entire home.
So we insulate the interior of the crawl space, which controls the temperature. We also insulate the exterior, seal it from air penetration, and seal it from moisture with a vapor barrier on the crawl space floor. To completely eliminate the possibility of condensation, we condition the crawl space and make sure the temperature is the same on both sides of the floor.
Why Insulate Your Attic:
Most homes have an estimated 6 to 10 square feet of cracks and openings where energy is lost. Many of those openings can be found in the attic where ducts and electrical wiring create opportunities for energy loss. Because heat rises, it is especially important to control the temperature in the attic. So we not only insulate the attic space and seal the air barrier, we also condition the attic space so that it remains free from condensation. Our goal is to push the temperature differential to the exterior of a home where it can’t do any damage.
Make a Difference!
If you know the difference, it’s time to make a difference. Lower your energy bills, reduce CO2 emissions, and increase the value and life-expectancy of your home. Insulate your attic and crawl space.
For now, here are some helpful links:
Your Attic: US Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Your Attic: Energy Start DIY Guide
Your Basement: US Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
If you have any questions about insulating, give us a call and we’ll do our best to help you out.