Science Behind the Walls Part I - Two keys to an efficient and healthy home
February 4, 2011
Building an energy efficient new home is not about one isolated component- it's treating the home as a system. Many people (and builders unfortunately) equate an efficient and healthy home solely with the heating and cooling unit and the type of interior material used in the home - like low VOC paint, etc. While those elements are important, the biggest impact on your home's efficiency and your family's health starts before the sheet rock is on the home. Two often overlooked contributors are: 1. Tightly sealed ducts in the new home 2. A fresh-air strategy Here is how we tackle the first of these issues in every new Ideal home:
Ideal Homes' Foil Flex Duct System has the greatest impact on energy efficiency. Based on an independent market evaluation of new homes in Oklahoma City, the average air leakage is 25 to 30 percent in overhead spaces as the ducts move air from the unit to other areas of the home. This is in new homes - just imagine the leakage in older homes. What does this mean to homeowners? They spend one quarter of their monthly bill to heat and cool their attic. Verified by a third party expert the Ideal Homes system guarantees five percent or less air leakage. We utilize a Mylar backed insulation to wrap the ducts This acts as a thermos to reduce temperature exchange. We also use a mastic sealant around the joints secured with vinyl tie straps for the best non-conductive, hardened fit.
Once the home is sealed tight, it is vital to have a fresh-air strategy for your home. Everyday living produces a lot of moisture in your home. Consider this; the average single-family home uses 80 gallons of water per person each day. That's a lot of moisture in a home. We also know vehicles leak fumes into homes from garages. When we build an Ideal home, we want to make sure families are breathing the freshest air possible at all times. We are happy to share our processes openly with those who inquire.
In a later post, we will discuss the fresh-air ventilation strategy used by Ideal Homes in every new home in Oklahoma City.