Unknown to most, a large percentage of homes are not energy efficient and the most significant portion of energy waste is generated during the home's heating and cooling process.
Home energy waste can be caused in many ways, including: leaky air duct systems, inadequate levels of insulation, insulation failures, recessed lighting leakage, incandescent lighting, building envelope penetrations, leaky doors and windows, and inefficient heating and cooling systems. By making cost effective home improvements, an average homeowner can reduce their energy bill by as much as 15% - 35% while also increasing the comfort and air quality within their home.
The key to achieving efficiency and comfort is to adopt a “whole house as a system” approach. You must treat your home as a complete energy system, with numerous connecting parts working together, to achieve maximum efficiency.
REEIS is not a single service provider.
Unlike single service providers (air conditioning companies, insulation companies, window companies, etc.), REEIS is a licensed general, insulation and HVAC contractor which ensures that it's technicians will analyze each system within your home, without bias, to identify the specific improvements needed to maximize your home's performance. A single service provider may only have the ability and motivation to identify and recommend improvements within their limited area of expertise, possibly resulting in an expensive repair that does not address the root cause of the problem.
REEIS construction crew leads are trained in multiple construction disciples, building science best practices and are Building Performance Institute certified professionals.
Duct SealingAir distribution ducts are a series of connecting pipes and hard ducts that deliver warm and cool air to your living space to maintain a comfortable temperature within your home. Typically, duct work is hidden away in the attic or crawl space, helping costly leaks to go undetected. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average duct system loses anywhere from 20% to 40% of your heating and cooling through duct leakages This hidden problem alone can cost you several hundred dollars per year in avoidable utility bills.
Using the recommended level of insulation in your attic, walls and floor is your primary defense against heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. Having the prescribed amount of insulation increases your home’s thermal performance while decreasing heating and cooling costs, improving comfort and reducing noise levels.
What most contractors and homeowners are not aware of is that there is a direct relationship between insulation and other components of the home such as: framing, plumbing, electrical and architectural design. When this relationship fails, which is extremely common, the effectiveness of the insulation is compromised. A failure rate of just 5% will reduce the effectiveness of your insulation by half. Due to such failures and other instances where insulation quantity is insufficient, the U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that 99% of all homes in America are not properly insulated.
Door Weatherization & Building Envelope Sealing
The Building Envelope of your home is simply the air conditioned, livable space in your home. According to several energy studies performed over the years, air infiltration (air entering and leaving the building envelope) can consume a substantial amount of energy used for heating and cooling. Drafty homes not only waste energy but make it almost impossible to maintain desired comfort levels.
Air leaks typically occur in the: attic access, door sashes and frames, electrical and plumbing penetrations, windows, chimney and fireplaces, mechanical closets, etc..
Air Barriers & Attic Sealing
Attics are a common area for simple improvements which have a big impact on your home's performance. A typical attic space in a hot climate can reach 150+ degrees, are full of polluted air, are placed under pressure by wind and other forces and typically house heating and air conditioning duct work and equipment. Insuring that the attic is sealed from the conditioned space, maintains proper insulation value and is vented properly is critical to a home's performance.
REEIS identifies and repairs conditions in attic spaces which impact a home's performance.
A/C - Heating System Performance Improvements
The National Comfort Institute (NCI), ACCA and Energy Star studies have shown that the actual performance of an heating and air conditioning system is dramatically reduced when they are not properly design and installation. In fact, data from NCI research suggest that the average air conditioners system is losing 43% of the manufacture cooling capacity rating. In the industry, it is called actual performance vs. manufactured performance.
REEIS identifies the conditions which impact a systems performance and makes improvements to improve the performance capacity of heating and air conditioning systems. The most common improvements are related to proper air flow and equipment function.
Wind, air flow from heating and air conditioning systems, ventilation systems, etc can cause positive and negative pressures which result in infiltration and ex filtration of air. A negative pressure can suck attic or external air causing hot spots and drafts. A positive pressure can result in loss of conditioned air or improper heating & air conditioning function. Many times, hot bedrooms are the simply repaired by pressure balancing improvements that cost as little as $125. REEIS professionals are trained in the science of pressure mapping.
Air Conditioning & Heating System Upgrade
Since heating and cooling our homes accounts for the largest single component of our energy costs (over 40%), installing a highly efficient heating and air conditioning system is a good improvement which will reduce utility and annual maintenance expenses. Heating and cooling equipment are subject to efficiency ratings similar to mile per gallon comparisons in automobiles
A gas furnace has an “AFUE” (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating which is a measure of the gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy – the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.
A central air conditioning unit has a “SEER” (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, which is a measure of cooling efficiency for air conditioners and heat pumps. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit performs. Older units typically have a SEER rating around 8 with newer units having a SEER rating as high as 21. A 16 SEER unit will use 50% less electricity than an 8 SEER unit.
LightingChanging out all of your standard incandescent lighting to compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) is one of the fastest and easiest ways to save energy. CFL’s use 75% - 85% less electricity and last 8 to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Incandescent bulbs produce a significant amount of heat which causes the air conditioning systems to run significantly longer to cool the house. The heat can also create uncomfortable conditions in the home. Just minutes after turning on, an incandescent bulb will reach temperatures between 175 – 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Newer windows reduce radiant heat penetration, air infiltration and ultra violet light exposure. Replacing windows with low-E and high U-value windows is the ideal solution but is not always practical for most budgets. There are window treatments such as sunscreens, film treatments and sealing methods which can minimize the negative effect of older windows.