Saturday, November 21, 2009

Energy Star Audit

This past week the two townhouses were evaluated for Energy Star and the Home Energy Rating System Index (HERS). 

Before the sheetrock goes up we will fix all of the leaks found through the blower door testing. The blower door sucks air out of the building and then an infrared camera is used to see where air is being pulled into the building. During the heating season these leaks push out warm air and let cold air in on a windy day.

Fixing leaks identified by the blower door test means valuable warm air won't  just be leaking out of the homes year after year. Despite very tight construction each townhouse was leaking 1800 CFM. Many people ask "but aren't tight homes unhealthy?" This is true if the house doesn't include a ventilation system. Stale air will be exhausted through a system called Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV). An HRV warms up the fresh air coming in with the stale being exhausted outside. 

In the attached video, conversations with Chris Mazzola of Building Diagnostics Sandwich, MA were recorded. Chris is a home energy rater who inspects the construction and measures its energy characteristics, such as insulation levels, window efficiency, wall-to-window ratios, the heating and cooling system efficiency, and the solar orientation of the home.

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