Home Builders in Denver Need to Know This …
Denver custom homes are a big enough investment but what is the cost of maintaining that investment? One of the most important areas to control future costs is energy. Who knows what future energy costs will be? We must attack energy efficiency in several different ways.
While it’s very important to choose highly efficient furnaces or boilers, and efficient air conditioners, and efficient water heaters, if you don’t take steps to conserve the heating or cooling you’ve paid for, you’ve only fought half the battle.
It’s very important to take a moment to think about where energy is lost in the shell of the home. Most of us can pretty readily think of the big stuff – insulation in the wall cavity, good windows, attic insulation, etc. But many homeowners and builders overlook simple things that can make a huge difference.
Most insulators offer what they call a “caulk and seal” package these days. This is basically an option to add a sealer around every window and doorframe and caulk the seams between adjacent wall studs. These two items can play a huge role in stopping air infiltration, which truly is half the battle.
Every house has several dozen wall studs that are built up, or side by side as a result of door or window openings, or corners. These side-by-side studs are an excellent opportunity for energy transfer. The tiny gap between them represents a breach of your insulation barrier. When your insulator does the caulk and seal package, this breach is sealed. The large gap around window and doorframes also allows energy transfer, so it only makes sense to seal this as well.
Another vulnerable point in modern construction is the place where walls and floors come together. The irregular shapes and complex conditions that occur at these junctions make it difficult to “stuff” them full of insulation. Using expanding foam insulation in these vulnerable areas makes for much tighter construction and can have a really substantial influence on energy use.
And, don’t overlook the energy lost to heated water, which is never used. When you turn on a tap and let water run for 20 seconds to get hot, you have to recognize that you heated that water once before. It has been allowed to cool as it sat in the pipes for several hours. Anything you can do to conserve that heat will definitely make a difference.
Think of it this way, if the pipe between your water heater and your master shower holds 2 gallons of water, and you have to “re heat” that 2 gallons once per day, 365 days per year, you’ve just emptied your 50 gallon water heater 15 times! In today’s energy dollars, that can be quite a bit of money. In tomorrow’s energy dollars – it’s anybody’s guess. Now offset that with the $100 to $200 it will cost to insulate those pipes. That’s painfully simple arithmetic.
If you think that energy will be cheaper in the years to come, you’re not paying attention. We’ve come up with a list of 15 things you can do to “Keep What You Pay For”. We’re happy to share. Send us an e-mail request with your name and zip code and and we’ll be happy to forward it to you.