Home Energy Audits: The pressure is on everyone is trying to sell you something for your house, windows, doors, insulation, high efficiency furnace, duct cleaning. Are you hoping one of these products or services will solve problems in your house? How do you know which product or service is really needed for your home? How can you as homeowner feel comfortable in prioritizing these services? We look at the house as a system. We performance test the home and its components. We use state of the art technology, protocols and procedures to evaluate your home. Our goal is to provide you, the homeowner, unbiased information about your homes safety, durability, comfort and energy savings, so you can make the best possible decisions when purchasing a new home, upgrading your older home or solving problems in either.
Air Sealing & Caulking: Air-sealing is a general term for the tightening of a building’s envelope; locating major leaks and plugging them up. These leaks present themselves in somewhat predictable locations for the seasoned energy auditor, but there’s often something we would never find without the help of our blower door and perhaps the thermal imager.
You and your family need a continuous supply of fresh air in your home. But uncontrolled air flow can cause drafts, make rooms too hot or too cold, and create serious health hazards. The way air moves in and around your house reveals an awful lot about problems you may have and how they can be fixed. You may notice unwanted air entering your house around windows and doors. But air also travels through random cracks and holes, under floors, inside walls, and up plumbing and electrical shafts. It’s actually these hidden passageways that are the cause of most drafts and high energy losses in homes. A chilly bathroom is a typical example. Drafts can be created as air follows the pathway make for pipes from the basement to the bathtub and sink Cranking up the thermostat or using space heaters to warm the bathroom will just waste money and energy and never solve the problem. Most homes have holes, from tiny cracks to large cavities leading to the attic. These cause drafts, waste energy and often lead to moisture problems. We use tools designed to quickly find the leaky passageways in your home. As holes are sealed, tests can be run to check how work is progressing. When the sealing job is complete, we will run a final test to ensure that your home stays comfortable while getting the proper amount of fresh air when and where you need it.
Air Sealing FAQ’s: Air Sealing sounds self explanatory and it is except for three common misconceptions.
Q: Air sealing means fixing or replacing my old windows and doors, right?
A: Well, yes and no. These two things could be a major contributor, they certainly are one of the things you feel and notice. Usually they are a minor contribution to total house leakage. There are a couple counterintuitive sources in the framing of your home that are usually guilty of the bulk of the leakage.
Q: Shouldn’t a house breathe, my contractor said my house should breathe?
A: Yes it should, usually it is breathing two to three times what it should to maintain a healthy number of air exchanges per hour. In home retrofit and air-sealing work we almost never get a house to tight. Our blower door test quantifies the tightness and insures that your home stays healthy.
Q: Can I do the air-sealing in my basement to save some money?
A: No…big No. An adequate level of draft or make-up air must be preserved for your combustion appliances. When we do initial pressure diagnostics in an energy audit we can predict whether air-sealing your basement is a good idea. Although the basement is a primary source of infiltration careful attention should be paid to combustion appliances and any moisture issues in the space.
Insulation: Whether you live in a cold climate or a hot one, insulation is important for keeping you home comfortable. Insulation slows the movement of heat through your walls, floors, and ceilings so that they stay warmer in winter and cooler during the summer. The closer the temperature of these surfaces are to the room temperature you like, the more comfortable you and your family will be. We check the insulation levels (R-values) in your home to see that they are adequate for climate. We will also look for poorly installed insulation, which is a common problem in many homes.
Building Comfort Solution is a provider of Blown Fiber Insulation (Cellulose) and SPF Spray Polyurethane Foam. We couple proven techniques with creative solutions to insulate and air-seal the most challenging situations. When insulating your home the difference between the status quo and a carefully thought out and executed solution can dramatically affect your bottom line forever.
Cellulose: Cellulose is the preferred product for insulating wall cavities of existing homes. When installed with the dense-pack method, settling in wall cavities is negligible and air flow in wall cavities is reduced significantly. It performs very close to its stated R value unlike fiberglass’s performance which is affected greatly by the precise fit of the batts in their cavity.
Cellulose insulation is also great for loose fill or open-blown attic applications. When installed at proper depth it creates a continuous blanket of insulation which eliminates loss resulting from the poor R value of timber framing members (thermal bridging).
Noise reduction is also done well with cellulose, achieved in three ways. The first is that cellulose completely fills cavities leaving few air pockets for sound to travel in. The second is the cellulose materials ability to trap air. The significant difference between noise reduction with cellulose and fiberglass is its density. Cellulose is approximately three times denser then fiberglass. This helps deaden the sound through walls and between floor levels.
SPF Spray Polyurethane Foam: Spray Foam is an incredible insulation product that has gained significant momentum in the high-end and high performance home industry. Closed cell spray foams have typical R values of 6-7 per inch of material, making them the most potent when space it at a premium. Like dense-packed cellulose, SPF also has incredible advantages in reducing air movement in structures. It is an effective way to tighten the building envelope significantly during new construction.
SPF is great for use in wall cavities of new construction and also on the roof decks of existing or new buildings. Roof-deck application is done between the rafters of your roof assembly, usually sprayed directly onto the sheathing of the roof. Coupled with sealing off soffit and ridge vents as well as gable walls, we create a sealed attic. Sealed to the outside the attic breathes only to the house and will maintain a temperature much closer to the conditioned living space of your home in any season. It is a complete cap on your building and one of the most effective at eliminating the path for warm air rising and escaping from your home.
HVAC Duct Airflow Testing: Homes with forced air heating or cooling systems almost always have leaky ducts. In fact, on average, 25% of the air heated or cooled by the equipment never reaches any of the rooms-even in brand new homes. As the air spills out into the basement, garage, crawlspace, or attic through leaks in the ducts, you waste energy and money. Leaky ductwork is one of the most important and common problems found in houses. Leaks in your duct system will not only increase your utility bills, they can prevent your cooling and heating system from delivering the comfort you need. Worst yet, duct leaks could be creating air quality problems that affect the health of your family. A duct leakage test can easily determine if leaky ductwork is contributing to comfort problems and high utility bills in your home. We will evaluate your duct system for leaks using newly developed testing equipment. We can them show you any problems found and also provide you with an estimate to seal your duct system. After making the recommended repairs, we will re-test to ensure that your cooling and heating system is operating at peak performance.
Heating System Analysis:
Heating / Cooling: Building Comfort Solution is a contractor for high efficiency Heating, Cooling, and domestic hot water needs. Our team has fast answers on the smart choice for your comfort and efficiency needs.
Right Size: Most heating and cooling systems are not sized properly for their application. This can result in decreased efficiency, moisture issues and decreased equipment life, all of which affect your bottom line and perhaps your health. Inefficient and improperly sized equipment continues to be a somewhat tragic missed opportunity to lower energy consumption in America. NJHES can right size your equipment for maximum efficiency, performance and longevity.
Duct design in forced air systems or lack there of also plagues most residential buildings today. Undersized supply ducts put energy draining restriction on air flow. A general lack of calculation on the installer’s part, or cost constraints imposed by the builder often causes problems.
Comfort: Careful design of your heating system starts with proper load and loss calculations, but that’s just the beginning. Picking the right delivery system and laying it out correctly for good distribution dramatically affects how it performs on all levels, including comfort. When you are comfortable you might actually be able to adjust the temperature settings to more economical settings.
FHA 203k Consultation: The FHA 203k homeownership loan program provides the buyer with the ability to buy a home that is in need of significant repairs with a FHA guaranteed loan and get the repairs completed after closing.
BPI Exam Proctor and Trainer: