Energy Efficiency Starts With Your House Shell
The energy efficiency in today's homes starts with your house shell. We do many things to make our slabs, block walls and frames to be more efficient. Using this technique helps for insulation to be injected in walls to completely fill and seal all gaps and spaces in your walls, same as all framed exterior walls to have a tight shell and giving you low energy bills starting on day one.
Reducing Air Leakage
The biggest long-term threat to your energy bill is air leakage. We do a lot of things to combat that. One of the most important things we do is the two-stage poly seal. The two-stage poly seal is first put around your windows, exterior toe plates, and exterior doors because those are all the prime places where you're going to have air leakage. Tyvek® flexible tape seals these areas to the Tyvek on the home exterior and prevents air leakage from the inside to the outside and vice versa. In homes with open-cell spray foam insulation, an even tighter seal is achieved since the spray foam will completely seal up the envelope of the home. All of this works together to keeps the climatized air in and the seasonal air out.
Energy Efficient Windows
In our homes, we use double-pane, vinyl windows. They're all American-made and have a limited lifetime warranty on the frames. All windows come with stickers showing their solar heat gain coefficient, U factor, and other important energy efficiency details. That information is really important when we're designing your HVAC system.
Right-Sized, Matched HVAC Systems
As tight as we're building these homes, it's important to have the right-sized air conditioner. You can put too much tonnage on a house or too little. We use a software called Manual J that considers the square footage of the living area as well as ceiling height to calculate the cubic footage, and the solar heat gain coefficients. This information is used to calculate the exact tonnage that your home will need to achieve the desired climate inside.
Another layer of protection we put on all of our homes is a Tyvek DrainWrap over the OSB sheathing on the exterior of your home. We specifically use the DrainWrap since it can be used with HardiePlank™ siding, or board and batten Hardie, or stucco. We can apply all of those materials directly to the surface of the wrap. The Tyvek DrainWrap has little ridges in it so that as moisture builds up in the wall cavity, it will stay on the outside of the home and not get into the insulation or the studs inside your home. Instead, the moisture stays outside of the membrane. The windows are taped directly to the Tyvek house wrap, creating a complete moisture barrier.
Handling Moisture Inside Your Home
We spend a lot of time and energy keeping moisture and water vapor out of the home. It's equally important to deal with the moisture we deliberately put in the home, like in a shower. We use several methods to keep that moisture from getting into the walls and staying in your home. On a shower pan, the first thing we're going to do is put in a rubber membrane that goes up about 18 to 24 inches all the way around with no seams. It's one solid monolithic piece. Then, we put up a cementitious fiberboard called HardieBacker™, an impermeable surface, unlike sheetrock. Finally, we paint on a waterproofing membrane.
Radiant Barrier Decking
In Climate Zone 2, we improve the energy efficiency of your home by using a radiant barrier decking up in the attic. This decking blocks 97% of the sun's radiant heat from getting into the attic, keeping your attic cooler and reducing the pressure on your AC equipment and also on the conditioned air space.
For all of our attic spaces, we use high-quality, R38 insulation to prevent any of that hot air that does get heated up in the attic from escaping down into the conditioned air space. It also prevents all the air you are paying to heat and cool from escaping into the attic, which is just one more way to ensure the energy efficiency of your Ziur Custom home.
So now you know how Ziur Custom Homes is building energy-efficient homes that will provide comfort, durability, and peace of mind for years to come. In order to learn more about our home's energy efficiency, browse the resources below.