Home comfort and energy efficiency go hand in hand. Although each homeowner (and resident in a home) can have personal preferences on comfort and different temperature sensitivities, the general rule applies: When a home is efficient, its residents are comfortable.
Why does comfort matter to builders? Ask any builder and they know the answer. The more comfortable a home is, the fewer callbacks builders receive from homeowners. Callbacks can have a dramatic effect on a builder’s bottom line and the reputation that builder has in the community.
It’s understood that both comfort and efficiency are a result of quality construction. Even with that in mind, builders continue to manage comfort calls from homeowners. How can you reduce comfort calls? Consider these steps:
- Understand building science. Many callbacks begin long before the home is occupied. A proper understanding of building science and the home as an energy system during the design phase should drive the design/build process. By getting things right on the front end, you can save time, money and headache on the back end.
- Choose the right subcontractors. Just because you are committed to implementing strong building science practices doesn’t mean your subcontractors are. Without the right subcontractors, your goal might not be achieved. Take a look at your subs. Are they properly trained on building science? (DeVere Insulation is up to date on today’s building science.)
- Insulate and air seal. The building envelope is the most important part of an energy-efficient home. A sound investment, air sealing and insulating will create a more comfortable interior for residents and decrease builder callbacks. When properly done, air sealing and insulating will last for the lifetime of the home. We recommend builders follow RESNET Grade One Installation practices.
- Choose proper HVAC. When the home’s envelope is properly insulated and air sealed, a smaller HVAC system will suffice. In fact, an oversized HVAC system or improper ductwork can dramatically impact airflow and resident comfort. By simply reducing the amount of conditioned air needed through a tight building envelope, a homeowner can save money and be more comfortable. Pretty simple.
- Ongoing evaluation. There are many pieces involved in the construction process. To ensure a home is maintaining a high level of energy efficiency, it’s important to perform blower door and other diagnostic tests throughout the construction process. Be sure your subcontractor team includes a qualified HERS rater who stays involved during the construction process.
Installing good quality insulation with proper techniques is the single best way to build a high-performing home. Proper installation and testing will result in a more efficient home, more comfortable homeowners and fewer callbacks.
Have questions about building science and insulation? Contact us. We’re happy to help.