The Building Envelope

The Building Envelope

If you’re finding that your home or building is extra chilly this winter, it could be time to invest in some energy efficiency measures.  Heating and cooling can account for up to 50% of energy costs and it could make your house more comfortable in the winter and summer, along with lowering your heating and cooling bills!
High energy bills can be caused by many things: Energy rates can rise leading to high costs, but many overlook that that the physical state of your home is a big part of the problem.
Buildings (like everything else) break down over time. Maybe you purchased your home when it was newly constructed, or maybe you recently purchased a home with only a few years under its belt. Either way many homeowners don’t know that their house may be leaking air conditioning outside. This is due to their house’s building envelope-
But what is a building envelope?
Well, think of an envelope like the one you put letters into. The inside of the envelope is the living space of your home that receives air conditioning and the envelops paper is your walls that separate inside from outside. This envelope can be solid and sealed(efficient), or they can be worn and broken down (inefficient).


Building_Envelope_Graphic


The picture above illustrates simply the effect of an inefficient building envelope. If you have leakage inside your homes envelope, then part of your air conditioning is going to waste which creates a rise in your energy bill.
Before you go checking to see if your doors and windows close all the way, you should know that an inefficient building envelope has a little more to it than that.
The picture below shows where some air leaks in a house can happen.
air_sealing-1106x800_0

  1. Doors: This one is easy. Doors with cracks and holes in them leak air to the outside.
  2. Windows: Also pretty well known. If your windows do not shut all the way, or if they let direct sunlight through most of the day then you can bet your energy bill will reflect that.
  3. Washer & Dryers: The ventilation ducts in your dryer could be leaking the hot air it uses to dry your clothes into your house which makes your air conditioning work harder in hot months.
  4. Recessed Lighting Fixtures: Lights that are built into your ceiling look nice, but if they were not properly placed then small amounts of conditioned air could be leaking into your attic.
  5. Attic Insulation: The attic is a large factor in your home’s building envelope. Since the attic isn’t technically a living space it is considered outside your home’s building envelope.
  6. Wall Insulation: Your attic isn’t the only insulated part of your home. Your walls can be insulated to help keep air controlled.

It can be a lot of hard work getting your house in shape, but getting it ready for long stretches of cold or hot weather is well worth the effort. That’s why PosiGen provides both solar energy and energy efficiency to our customers. Solar energy helps cut utility costs, and energy efficiency to tighten up your home’s building envelope helping ensure your savings.
To find out more about how solar leasing and energy efficiency can save for you visit PosiGen  (http://www.posigen.com) or call (866)-POSIGEN today!

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