A common summer problem is condensation on walls around AC air vents. Moisture is insidious and, once allowed to enter wall structures, can result in damage, mold and mildew. While quick-fix solutions may provide cosmetic relief, it is best to spend the time and money to ensure that moisture is not seeping into your wall structures.
As construction costs increase and building codes demand more effective building envelopes, construction professionals are looking to taller wall panels to fill in the gaps. OSB wall panels already make for a sustainable and cost-effective option but with longer length OSB wall panels, the efficacy of the building envelope is increased by creating fewer seams while costs, waste and installation time are reduced.
Eight strategies for getting the most out of your retrofit budget. Ensure that your home is as energy efficient as your budget will allow by spending your money where it makes the most difference.
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.
Raised heel trusses provide additional attic space which allows you to add cheaper batt insulation. This means you increase the efficacy of your building envelope. Throw in some taller wall panels like Windstorm or TallWall and you have a recipe for building envelope brilliance.
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.
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.
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.
Energy costs that go to conditioning the air in a home add up to about half of its overall energy consumption. Improving the competence of the building envelope and using insulation with R-values that exceed those stipulated by the local building code will help to reduce the homeowner’s energy consumption.
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.