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Energy Efficient Homes

July 4, 2016

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In the home building industry, there is a lot of discussion, pertaining to energy efficiency.  Energy efficient homes become even more important when you live in a region with extreme weather fluctuations, such as we experience in the Canadian prairies.  Conquest Manufacturing takes great pride in producing highly energy efficient homes, through some of our standard building practices.  We enjoy the benefit of building our homes inside a climate controlled factory, allowing us to pay more attention to detail, with regards insulation and vapor barrier.

Any time you can reduce the thermal transfer, in a home, you are taking a big step towards improved energy efficiency.  There are a number of different ways to achieve this, and Conquest will gladly discuss these options with our clients, to determine the desired level of thermal break, in the wall construction of the home.  Along with different methods to construct the walls of a home, there are different types of insulation that can be used, to improve the R-value in the walls and attic.  Conquest Manufacturing is a firm believer in spray foam, and uses it extensively around any penetrations through the construction of the home.  Spray foam is an expensive application, and can be used for all the insulation in a home, but this is typically not a cost effective solution.  We limit the use of spray foam to penetrations like exterior wall plugs and light switches, ceiling light fixtures, water lines and venting pipes coming through the exterior of the building.  Spray foam, in areas like this, provide both insulation and vapor barrier.

Windows and doors are typically the weakest link, when discussing energy efficiency.  You can put a lot of time and money into reducing thermal transfer, in your wall construction, but if you don’t put in high quality windows and doors, those efforts will not have the desired results.  While large areas of glass are a beautiful touch in your home, they are also the least energy efficient component in your home.  You have to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable window and door company, and also ensure that you use features like triple pane glass, as well as argon gas between the panes of glass.  These features help improve the energy ratings of the windows and doors.

HRV (heat recovery ventilation) systems are important in energy efficient homes, to ensure that air is being exchanged at a proper rate.  Just like humans, our homes need to breathe, taking in fresh air and removing stale air.  As the building itself becomes more air tight, with proper vapor barrier and insulation, an HRV system is essential for helping the air to change.

I recently came across a rating chart, for energy efficiency ratings, in homes.  This information suggested that a home built to the current building code, could achieve a rating of 65 – 72.  There would be no additional efforts put into this home construction.  A new home with some energy efficient improvements could achieve a rating of 73 – 79.  A new home using many of the energy efficient options, could achieve a rating of 80 – 90.  Conquest homes regularly experience ratings between 83 – 84, which illustrates the high energy efficiency of our homes.

Our on-going goal is to be a leader, in this area, as it is a huge benefit to live in a home like this.  Not only will this save our customers money, in heating and cooling costs, but will also provide a more living comfortable environment in the home.  We are always happy to discuss energy efficiency options, with our clients, to determine the best options for each home that we build.