While of course no two houses are the same, Phoenix’s housing stock does have similar construction traits and installation practices that are often the cause of high energy bills, temperature differences within rooms and poor indoor air quality. In this blog series, I would like to highlight some of the most common construction defects I find and what you can do to really transform your home for a better quality of life through lower utility bills, better air quality and even better sound-proofing.
Before we explore the wonderful world of your attic, we need to first get into the mind-frame of looking at your house as one system made up of interdependent parts. So your air conditioning and heating system is no longer a separate system that only affects your comfort and how warm you stay in the winter, but it can also affect your health and safety. The way builders typically build houses is this: the framer would erect the frame of the house, then the HVAC, plumbing and electrical trades would come in and do their separate trades, etc – and none of these groups would really talk with each other… and that’s were we get these inefficiencies from. Sometimes inefficiencies are from just laziness, like where an insulation contractor just laid fiberglass batt insulation on top of the attic studs because the drywall crew did not want to hit any staples when laying their drywall… oops. There are a number of reasons why homeowners are paying too much for their utility bills or experience different temperatures in their homes and that’s what energy auditors do, identify those deficiencies and make recommendations on how they can be fixed.
This series is going to be broken up into easily digestible sections, and peppered with energy saving tips and self-checks. Each recommendation I make will detail the good and bad effects it can have on your home, using the house-as-a-system approach we just discussed, and what you need to be aware of before deciding to do work on your home. We will go into detail about duct leakage and sealing, insulation performance, your home’s heat gain, how a 2-story home differs from a single story home, water heating and many more topics, so stay tuned!
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