Higher fuel prices put a premium on energy audits: a good energy audit will cover structural and mechanical systems and the building envelope, as well as the needs of the occupants.The beauty of this information age is that I can send you schematics and specifications for a renovation project in one quick e-mail. The scary side is that too many buildings are still being constructed to be just as energy-hungry as buildings were in 1950.
The reason is simple. Building codes (even the energy code) do not dictate good building practice--only minimum performance. An example of this is that the current residential energy code requires duct insulation of R-8 in unconditioned unconditioned /un·con·di·tion·ed/ (un?kon-dish´und) not a result of conditioning; unlearned; occurring naturally or spontaneously. spaces. In the winter, this means that you can distribute the heated air from your furnace in ducting duct·ing
1. A duct or system of ducts.
2. Material for making ducts. throughout your cold attic that is insulated to about 25 percent of the amount of insulation required in the ceiling (R-30 to R-40).
Time and again, buildings with chronic ice dam An ice dam (or ice jam) occurs when water builds up behind a blockage of ice. Ice dams can occur in various ways. Caused by a glacier
Sometimes a glacier flows down a valley to a confluence where the other branch carries an unfrozen river. problems and high energy costs have HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) In the home or small office with a handful of computers, HVAC is more for human comfort than the machines. In large datacenters, a humidity-free room with a steady, cool temperature is essential for the trouble-free systems located in the attic In the Attic can refer to:
Maybe a car analogy The car analogy is a common resort exploited by engineering textbooks to ease the understanding of some abstract concepts found within it. Uses of car analogies
The efficiency of car analogies reside on their capacity to explain hard concepts (usually due to their high would be helpful. Imagine if your car had an airplane propeller propeller, device consisting of a hub with one or more blades that propels a craft to which it is attached by rotating its blades in a fluid such as air or water. in front, instead of a connection from the engine to the wheels. Sounds inefficient, right? Well, placing your furnace in the attic--outside the conditioned envelope--and distributing warmed/cooled air through that attic generates similar inefficiency.
This is just one example. One of my favorite energy audit stories occurred in a small medical office facility where I was told that the heat did not work in a particular room. They were wrong The heat worked fine. It was the combination of variation of window quality and the installation of exam room exhaust fans that created this perception.
A good energy audit will cover structural and mechanical systems and the building envelope A building envelope is the separation between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. It serves as the outer shell to protect the indoor environment as well as to facilitate its climate control. as well as tile needs of the building's occupants. For instance, comments from employees in a medical office building helped me identify a problem and to propose a solution in that building.
Implementing recommendations made from a professional energy audit will not only help reduce utility costs, but will help make your building more safe, leak-resistant and healthy. (We see lots of moldy moldy
animal feed overgrown with fungus; the feed may be harvested and stored or be still in the ground.
moldy corn disease
see leukoencephalomalacia, fusariummoniliforme. attics in our work.)
Appropriate thermal isolation of the living space from the attic in most construction will:
* Eliminate ice dams
* Minimize mold problems
* Reduce heating and cooling costs
I received an oil delivery at my home earlier this summer. The "cash" price of $4.66/gallon was a great reminder that the payback (the time it takes to save as much money in reduced fuel expenses as you spent on the project) for energy improvements has been cut in half.
Said another way, if we predicted that your new insulation would take six years to pay off, it is now three. (It's probably a good time to buy insulation stock!)
It may be hot right now, and you may not wish to think about your increasing energy budget, but you should. High fuel and utility costs are providing serious financial incentive to study the energy efficiency of the buildings in which we live and work.
John P Turner is president of Criterium-Turner Engineers, Goffstown.