Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Home Insulation

Most homeowners understand the concept of insulating the home. It helps the heating and airconditioning system works better and more efficiently. It also keeps the indoor condition from the more extreme temperature swings of the outdoor environment. What is sometimes missing is the knowledge of how much insulation is enough and what type should be used.

Insulation level is measured in R-value. The higher the R-value, the more resistance there is for heat transfer. Current minimum standard for new homes calls for R30 and we recommend consideration for R38 if space is available for Bay Area customers. You can find out how much insulation you have by checking out the depth of the existing insulation. Every inch of blown in insulation equates to roughly R2.5-4 of insulation value. So for example a house that has 3 inches of insulation has a rough R value of 7.5 to 12. That means the house has about 1/3 of the insulation compared with today’s minimum standard.

More information about insulation can be found at this Department of Energy fact sheet

Next time we will talk about an important step that is missed from many insulation project - attic air gap sealing

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Green Home Performance in South Bay

In addition to being a heating and air conditioning contractor, we also engage in home performance work. It is the disipline of analyzing your home energy use and come up with ways to reduce it. Many times it involve your heating and air conditioning system but not limited to it. Some of the projects involve attic air gap sealing, insulation, duct sealing etc... which as a whole can dramatically reduce the total energy consumption.

It is a relatively new field and unfortunately does not get as much press or marketing dollars compare with the multi-billion dollar solar industry. However, this is the low hanging fruit for energy savings that homeowner should consider before or in conjunction with the solar panels. An average home can be tightened up and insulated for a few thousand dollars with no ongoing maintenance cost which can drop the energy consumption 30% or more. In this era of volatile energy pricing we can all do more to reduce our individual energy consumption and that is exactly what green home performance is all about.

we will add more information and case studies on our website as we move along here.