Unseen Energy Savings
|Pumping insulation into a newly constructed home.|
As fall arrives we notice the house gets colder and is not as comfortable without a sweater. One can chalk this up to the change in seasons, but more likely it could be that there are small places where the warm air escapes.
Drafty homes are caused by a number of factors one may not see or even think about. Wall and attic insulation are among those unseen items that can increase or decrease energy savings. The California Energy Commission is the state agency that encourages builders and developers to incorporate energy efficiency into designs.
The Energy Commission sets the state building codes for energy efficiency in residential and nonresidential buildings. Currently the Energy Commission is evaluating proposals for the 2016 Building Energy Standards (Title 24). These proposals include having high performance attic and walls – basically increasing insulation to keep the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
|Adding insulation to the roofline|
can help regulate home temperatures.
Some builders are already embracing these practices to keep eventual homeowners more comfortable year round. For example, Shea Homes and KB Home have partnered with Owens Corning to create an attic insulation system installed at the roofline of the building.
Summer attic temperatures can be up to 40 degrees higher than the outside air; adding additional insulation at the roofline can lower that temperature and result in significant energy savings. According to Shea Homes, the benefits of a reduced temperature in an attic means better performance and efficiency in a cooling system resulting in a possible reduction of one’s energy bill by 25 percent.
This improvement and others the Energy Commission are considering could mean lower energy bills and greater comfort while protecting our environment!
The Energy Commission will have a 2016 Standards draft language workshop November 3 and release draft language in early 2015.