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Home Performance Energy Upgrades

Home Performance is the measure of a home’s efficiency, and an evaluation of the homes physical condition for deferred maintenance.  It is an assessment of many factors; including energy and water use, air flow, and effectiveness of the home’s thermal envelope (shell).  Home Performance determines the comfort, health, and safety of the living environment inside a home.  It directly impacts the operating costs for energy and water utilities; and by extension, your home’s impact on the environment.

The first step in Home Performance Energy Upgrade process is to get a Home Performance Energy Assessment (HPEA) or a Home Energy Analysis (HEA) [commonly referred to as Home Energy Audits] depending on your homes condition and needs. Here is a description of each:

The Hole Performance Energy Assessment (HPEA)

The Home Performance Energy Assessment (HPEA) starts with diagnostic testing on your home.
This test includes:
1.  Blower Door:
a. Effective in showing air infiltration (leakage) of your existing floors, walls and ceilings.
b. This test takes between 30 – 60 minutes.
2.  Combustion Safety and Depressurization test:
a. This tests your combustion appliances
i. Forced Air Units (FAU)
ii. H2O heater
b. Tests the steady state efficiency of those appliances.
c. Checks CO levels produced by each of these appliances.
d. Determines if they are drafting properly (natural draft only).
e. Measures if negative pressure condition exists which could cause these appliances to backdraft
flue gases into the living space.
f. This test takes between 30 – 60 minutes.
3. Duct Blaster test:
a. Tests the integrity of your duct system.
b. Allows us to quantify the amount of duct leakage.
c. Requires unobstructed access to all heat registers and the Cold Air Return grill (including furniture).
d. This test takes between 30 – 60 minutes.

Once testing is complete, inspections will be performed on the following areas:
1. All interior rooms
2. Accessible areas of the attic
3. Accessible areas of the crawl space
4. The exterior of the home.
5. The garage.
6. Draw the floor plan for future energy modeling.
7. These inspections take approximately 90 – 120 minutes.

In addition, the following tasks (if requested) will be performed:
1. Perform a solar survey (if solar is requested as an option).
2. Perform a pool equipment energy assessment (if a swimming pool exists).

The Home Energy Analysis (HEA)

A Home Energy Analysis (HEA) includes the following:
1. Combustion Safety and Depressurization test:
a. This tests your combustion appliances.
i. Forced Air Units (FAU)
ii. H2O heater
b. Tests the steady state efficiency of those appliances.
c. Checks CO levels produced by each of these appliances.
d. Determines if they are drafting properly (natural draft only).
e. Measures if negative pressure condition exists which could cause these appliances
to backdraft flue gases into the living space.
f.  Test takes between 30 – 60 minutes.
2. Inspections performed on the following areas:
a.  Accessible areas of the attic.
b.  Accessible areas of the crawl space
c.  The exterior of the home.
d.  The garage.
e.  These inspections take approximately 90 – 120 minutes.

The following video provides a good overview of the basic facts every homeowner should know about Home Performance.

Caveat Emptor

In light of the current economy and the growing awareness of environmental issues, Home Performance is a burgeoning industry.  The benefit of working with a home performance contractor is that we take a comprehensive approach and evaluate multiple factors that impact the home’s energy efficiency.  As a result, we recommend the most sensible options for improvement. For example; air sealing and insulation improvements could result in a smaller demand, therefore reducing the size of HVAC or potential renewable systems (solar, wind and geothermal).  By looking at the homes energy performance as a whole, we are also able to look at all available rebates and financing options to recommend the best return on your investment.

Air Sealing

  • Attic

  • Crawl Space

Moisture Management

  • Gutters and Downspouts

  • Grading and Drainage

  • Crawl Space

Insulation Enhancement

  • Attic

  • Knee walls

  • Exterior walls

  • Floor

Plumbing

  • Fixtures

  • H2O heaters

  • Distribution

Electrical

  • Light fixtures

  • Lighting controls (switching)

  • Main and sub panels

  • Wiring compliance in attics and crawl spaces

HVAC

  • Correct sizing for the home

  • Furnace and duct repair

  • Furnace and duct replacement

Windows and doors

.

Roofing

Solar

  • Photo Voltaic

  • Solar Thermal

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CAL Custom
Building Services, Inc.

formerly Pinnacle Homes