In my last blog, I talked about vapor diffusion and the perm rating. Sometimes it is better to eliminate the polyethylene sheeting most builders in Minnesota are using for both the air and vapor barrier. The problem then becomes passing the blower door test. Continue reading “Building Science-Passing a Blower Door Test”
Builders in northern Minnesota have been using polyethylene sheeting on the warm in winter side of wall assemblies for years. Beginning in the 1960’s, we were taught that the poly would stop vapor diffusion in building cavity, keeping walls dryer. During the 1990’s and 2000’s, building scientists determined that only a small percentage of wall wetness comes from vapor diffusion. So, how does moisture end up inside building assemblies in a northern climate? Mostly by air leaks! Continue reading “Building Science-Perm”
Summer has arrived, bringing warm temperatures and higher humidity. As a kid, I remember hot nights sleeping in the upper story of an old farm house, often also suffering from sunburn. Now, I can’t imagine not having at least one cool room in the house for relief. What a wimp I’ve become. Many homes in Minnesota have some sort of air conditioning today. This blog posting is going to discuss the different types, efficiencies, and operating costs of common air conditioners along with the basics of how they operate.
Continue reading “The Energy Audit-Air Conditioners”
I’ve talked about blower door testing several times on this blog. This discussion will dive deeper into this type of test, when it should be completed, the different tests done with the blower door, and interpreting the information. Continue reading “The Energy Audit-Blower Door Test”
Windows, sometimes referred to as glazing or fenestration, have been an important part of our homes for centuries. They let light in and still keep the weather out. Most are designed to open and let fresh air in and, in an emergency, allow someone to get out. Sometimes that includes a sneaking teenager.
Continue reading “Construction Materials-Windows”
Working as an energy auditor, I am often in homes that require dehumidification. Controlling the humidity level within a home is very important for indoor air quality and the durability of the home. Continue reading “The Energy Audit-Dehumidifiers”
In our northern climate, how quickly a structure loses heat is dependent on three factors, the first is transmission heat loss which includes the difference between inside and outside temperatures, called the delta T, and the resistance to heat flow, or R-value of the building assemblies. Continue reading “Building Science-R-value”
Most of the energy audits and assessments I conduct are because of a high bill complaint. Some homes have heating related issue, some have specific equipment adding to costs, some, the homeowner just needs a little education. When looking to decrease energy costs, where are the best places save? The Department of Energy has categorized and estimated the energy used by the typical American home…
The first commercially available incandescent light bulb was a product of Thomas Edison and has been available since the late 1800’s. They remained, for the most part, unchanged for the first 100 years. Continue reading “The Energy Audit-Light Bulbs”
What is humidity? According to Wikipedia, humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. A nice, simple explanation that all of us can understand. Now look at the chart below. Continue reading “Building Science-Humidity”