As a “Third Generation” licensed
general contractor in Lake Havasu City and certified home energy rater through
the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the Building Performance
Institute (BPI) Trevor has worked with EPA’s ENERGY STAR for new homes program
as well as both of UniSource’s Energy Efficiency Programs (UES Energy Smart
Home’s and Bright Solutions program).
Solutions is focusing on perfecting the ENERGY efficiency of your home, by
increasing energy performance we can help you decrease electric costs and put
more savings into your pocket. In Lake Havasu we have started re-insulating many
homes and this has decreased heat loss during the winter months.
HOW INSULATION WORKS
To understand how insulation works it helps to understand heat flow, which
involves three basic mechanisms -- conduction, convection, and radiation.
Conduction is the way heat moves through materials, such as when a spoon placed
in a hot cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand. Convection
is the way heat circulates through liquids and gases, and is why lighter, warmer
air rises, and cooler, denser air sinks in your home. Radiant heat travels in a
straight line and heats anything solid in its path that absorbs its energy.
Most common insulation materials work by slowing conductive heat flow and -- to
a lesser extent -- convective heat flow. Radiant barriers and reflective
insulation systems work by reducing radiant heat gain. To be effective, the
reflective surface must face an air space.
Regardless of the mechanism, heat flows from warmer to cooler until there is no
longer a temperature difference. In your home, this means that in winter, heat
flows directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics,
garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly
through interior ceilings, walls, and floors -- wherever there is a difference
in temperature. During the cooling season, heat flows from the outdoors to the
interior of a house.
To maintain comfort, the heat lost in the winter must be replaced by your
heating system and the heat gained in the summer must be removed by your cooling
system. Properly insulating your home will decrease this heat flow by providing
an effective resistance to the flow of heat.
An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated
in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value -- the higher the R-value, the
greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of
insulation, its thickness, and its density. When calculating the R-value of a
multilayered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers. Installing
more insulation in your home increases the R-value and the resistance to heat
flow. To determine how much insulation you need for your climate, use an
insulation calculator or consult a local insulation contractor.
The effectiveness of an insulation material’s resistance to heat flow also
depends on how and where the insulation is installed. For example, insulation
that is compressed will not provide its full rated R-value. The overall R-value
of a wall or ceiling will be somewhat different from the R-value of the
insulation itself because heat flows more readily through studs, joists, and
other building materials, in a phenomenon known as thermal bridging. In
addition, insulation that fills building cavities densely enough to reduce
airflow can also reduce convective heat loss.
Unlike traditional insulation materials, radiant barriers are highly reflective
materials that re-emit radiant heat rather than absorbing it, reducing cooling
loads. As such, a radiant barrier has no inherent R-value. Although it is
possible to calculate an R-value for a specific radiant barrier orreflective
insulation installation, the effectiveness of these systems lies in their
ability to reduce heat gain by reflecting heat away from the living space.
The amount of insulation or R-value you'll need depends on your climate, type of
heating and cooling system, and the part of the house you plan to insulate. To
learn more, see our information on adding insulation to an existing house or
insulating a new house. Also, remember that air sealing and moisture control are
important to home energy efficiency, health, and comfort.
INFRARED CAMERA IMAGES
Here are a few pictures taken with
our infrared camera showing missing insulation in a back bedroom of a home. The
homeowners were complaining about the room being warmer than the rest of the
house. You can easily see that the room wasn’t properly insulated. The second
picture is of an attic knee wall you can see that the insulation has fallen and
the red spots indicate the heat gain. This causes the air conditioning to work
overtime to compensate for this loss. At Evo Energy Solutions we have the tools
to solve problems and save you money.
Our Process / Advantage:
Evo Energy Solutions has a much
different approach that the typical contractor. Because we understand the
science behind the building we use the “Building as a system approach.” You
understand that your car is made up of interacting components and systems – when
one component fails, it affects the performance of the entire vehicle. That same
principal also applies to your home?
High energy bills, uneven temperatures from room-to-room, drafts, moisture,
mold, mildew, poor indoor air quality, pest infestations, seemingly
uncontrollable humidity levels and even premature deterioration of building
materials can all be the result of a breakdown in the relationship between the
systems in your house – the building envelope (shell), heating and air
conditioning (HVAC) equipment and you, the occupants.
If one system has a problem, it impacts the other systems’ ability to function
properly. Treating the obvious symptom without knowing the real culprit behind
it can actually make the problem worse or create new problems. Properly
diagnosing and fixing the root cause requires a house-as-a-system approach based
on building science.
Evo Energy Solutions will conduct a comprehensive whole-home assessment to find
the real problems, then prescribe and prioritize improvements that make the
system as a whole function at its best.
Local Area: Lake Havasu City, Bullhead, Kingman, Parker.
We’re always willing to venture beyond our local area, give us a call at
928.486.0301 to discuss your project.