airtight building envelope

Understanding your home’s thermal envelope

Building a new home brings several challenges. Not only you have to think about the size and shape of the building but also how your new dwelling will be heated and cooled.

A proper insulation from the right materials with the correct thermal properties will help create an environment that is energy efficient and comfortable to live in.

When sealing a home for energy efficiency purposes, the first focus should be on the building’s envelope. This is the layer that separates a home’s conditioned living space from the outside. In simple terms it is the home’s heat-flow control layer, like an oversized fluffy sweater.

When we are referring to a building’s thermal envelope, we are discussing the airtight layer of smart membrane either on the outside or the inside of the walls. Correct attention to sealing and insulating this part of a home can mean big returns for the homeowner in value and coziness.

Just like you put on a hat on in winter because the heat escapes through the top of you, the same kind of theory applies to your house. The better you utilized good air barrier, the better it works in conjunction with good R-value based on your climate zone, and increases the efficiency of your home.

Air barrier prevents unwanted air from entering the building and conversely it prevents conditioned air from escaping a building. With smart membrane / permeable wrap, the upside is that it allows the building to ‘breath’ and therefore prevents the moisture build up while providing an air barrier and improving thermal resistance.

Because of better efficiency of the airflow, a homeowner may find that the heating/cooling system in the home does not need to be as complex, which provides significant cost savings in the utility bills.

Several practices should be taken into account when building an energy efficient home or increasing the efficiency of an existing home. Attention should be given to purchasing the best insulated double or triple glazed windows and perhaps one of the most important components, adding the right amount of insulation, particularly in the attic space or roof cavity where heat often escapes.

The R-value is the unit of thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the higher a building’s thermal resistance. In simple terms, the higher the R-value number, the warmer or cooler your home will remain.

At ecokit, we’re eliminating the infiltration of air to and from the exterior. For airtight building envelope a mechanical ventilation system is therefore very important, since we’re not relying on air leakage.

Air barrier and insulation should not be confused. Both are integral pieces of adding energy efficiency to our home. The benefits of high performing insulation are one way that these two issues can be addressed in one application.

 

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