Now that you've worked so diligently to attain the most efficient envelope for your building it's time to consider the finer points and a few energy minded construction techniques. This is why home remodeling Austin, Texas is a unique problem and furthermore why professional residential remodelers exist. From here on out you will be dealing with the penetrations going through your envelope perimeter that are deducting from all your efforts. These areas include not only the electrical boxes, wires, pipes, and registers that are coming through your walls, floor, and ceilings,but in particular the doors and windows that connect us to the outside.
Austin house remodeling criteria demand that any penetrations concerning your utilities must be dealt with using expanding foams, caulks, or gaskets that limit infiltration into your envelope. You can use clear paintable caulks in conjunction with all your interior trim eliminating small leaks that add up to large problems. You can also caulk your A/C buckets to the ceiling before replacing the grilles. Use insulation dams above attic stair units and weatherstrip the pull down door to the ceiling. Repeat this procedure at any additional attic skuttles within your building.
Your return air closet can also be a conditioned air thief. Caulk all inside corners of the closet and seal your air handler to the platform it rests upon. Weatherstrip the closet door. If you have a gas furnace you can either remove the closet ceiling or install combustion air pipes that connect the closet to the unconditioned attic above.
Now to attack the most wasteful of all the efficient envelope penetrators that connect us to the great outdoors-your windows. They make up a great percentage of surface area in your now upgraded and insulated exterior walls. You must access whether or not to replace the original leaky windows and what value they add while preserving the look of your exterior. If you choose to keep them, either efficient storm windows or insulating shutters may be installed on the interior. If, on the other hand, you favor replacing them always remember a good rule of thumb. A single pane of glass only offers an R-1 resistance to the outside. You are basically dealing with aesthetics so don't be taken in by all the bell and whistle talk. The main specification to consider is the E-factor concerning how well light is transmitted into the building helping with direct gain problems during the summer months.
All solid exterior doors offer insulating qualities through their makeup and must be weatherstripped. If your doors contain glass inserts treat them as windows installing insulating shutters on the interior or a storm door on the exterior. Any penetrations through the conditioned envelope reduces it's total efficiency.
Tankless Hot Water Heaters DON'T Waste Energy Heating Water
Check out Part 1: Ceilings which covers your attic wastes
Check out Part 2: Walls which covers your wall R-factors and underpinning
Phote Credit: Compact fluorescent...By Mike Dykstra