Dramatically Improve Your Summer/Winter Comfort and Home’s Efficiency

August 7, 2018

One of the top issues that I hear about (and experience) when I’m installing in client’s homes is how different the temperatures are from room to room and floor to floor. Especially this summer! I see floor fans with extension cords, ceiling fans on full speed, or worse yet – an expensive floor model air conditioner that blow the air out the window, all in an attempt to cool folks off so that they can have a good night’s sleep.
Our homes are generally equipped with good furnaces and air conditioning units – there are just some improvements that can be made in conjunction with them to significantly improve energy efficiency and ultimately, home comfort.

1. SEALING DUCT WORK. Apparently, because of the way duct work pieces are assembled and fastened to one another, the average ducting system leaks between 40-60% of it’s airflow into wall cavities. This translates into a furnace and air conditioner(regardless of their efficiency rating) that are running far more than they should in order to deliver air directly into each room via the registers. By sealing the ducting, the air leakage drops to ZERO. Which means that 100% of the air that the furnace fan pushes, it pushes directly it into the rooms. Faster heating/cooling and less run time for the equipment. The video explains this problem and the solution.

2. ZONE CONTROL. Because the duct work in forced air heating/cooling systems themselves are not zoned – ie. we aren’t able to direct the precise flow of air into each living space or room, and so we compensate by opening the damper on one floor register while closing another in a different room(it’s too hot…it’s too cold…we all do this!)
The second video describes this and offers a solution where the dampers of each floor register are controlled by a central unit which opens or closes the dampers to achieve the desired temperature in each room individually.

3. WINDOW TINT. Anyone that has a room with windows that get direct sun exposure, knows how frustrating it can be to keep that space at a comfortable temperature and not get blinded by the sun’s rays. That’s the room you walk into that feels like you’ve just stepped into a blast furnace in summer or icebox in winter. I’ve seen numerous homes built with large numbers of windows across the back of the entire house(usually kitchens or great rooms). These are typically outfitted with expensive shutters which are normally closed during waking hours. But they’re windows, and they were installed to allow us to see our (sometimes) beautiful yards.

**After our own renovation was completed on our house, we had a 3M window tint applied to our large, south facing windows in order to protect the dark hardwood floors and furnishings from fading. I learned that all 3M window films block more than 99% of damaging ultraviolet light(houseplants don’t appreciate this so that’s one item when considering window tint). After talking to the tint professional initially, I learned that tinting can also provide the following benefits:

A. Energy efficiency – some manufactures claim that it can improve heating/cooling efficiency up to 30%
B. Better temperature consistency between rooms
C. Eliminates damaging ultraviolet light to flooring/furniture/artwork.
D. Glare reduction
E. Increases privacy
F. Curb appeal

Depending on the location of each window(which side of the house it’s on), you can select different degrees of tint to accomplish the desired result.
Note: This is not a DIY project. There are a variety of tints and a number of parameters to look at when choosing tint. Make sure that the company you deal with is Certified to install the product.

Hopefully this little article will be a launching pad for you to improve on the things that you can, in order to fully appreciate the comfort that your home can provide. Feel free to contact us with any questions and remember …”Home improvement = Life improvement”

Happy Renovating!