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Insulation

Insulation is one of the keys to reducing energy consumption in a green home. Insulation is also key to the comfort of a green home. The “building envelope” is considered to be the floors, walls and ceilings that surround the “conditioned” or heated and cooled living space inside the home. Insulation plays an important role in the building envelope by resisting the loss of heat from the inside to the outside or the entry of heat from the outside to the inside. With insulation in the exterior walls and attic, the home becomes more energy efficient. The thickness of the insulation is directly related it’s effectiveness to resist the heat loss or heat gain and is rate with an R value. The larger the R value the thicker and more resistive the insulation is to the transfer of heat.

Insulation plays an important part in the approve energy analysis - see HVAC. Increasing the R value of the insulation in the building envelope can usually result in reducing the sizes of HVAC equipment required to heat and cool the home. The increase cost of the insulation is a trade off for the less costly smaller sized HVAC equipment and lower utility costs.

Insulation comes in many forms and is installed in many different ways depending on its location in the “building envelope”. In addition to insulation, a green home needs to have all joints and cracks sealed in the “building envelope” to prevent air infiltration.

 


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