How Uncomfortable is your Home?

Frozen House

Do you live in a house that feels like an ice castle in winter and a sauna in the summer? Too often do we hear of homes that simply can't keep the occupants comfortable; common complaints are that the large rooms are cold and the small rooms to hot (or vise versa in summer), and no manner of adjustments seem to make any difference. While the problem exists across all housing types, ironically some of the most expensive homes built are the most dysfunctional when it comes to heating and cooling.

We were recently asked to consult on a large, beautifully built home that is so uncomfortable and so expensive to heat and cool, the owners rarely spend time there. To add insult to injury, energy costs are in the thousands of dollars per month!

The problem? While too complicated to go into detail here, the 4 things that stand out are:

  1. Grossly over-sized heating equipment - 3 massive boilers putting out over one million BTUs for a 7,500 sq. ft. home!!
  2. Poorly designed and undersized cooling system;
  3. No integrated control system such that even in the fall with outdoor temperatures under 10 degrees Celsius both the AC and heating systems were running;
  4. Poorly detailed air barrier and  window and door installation resulting in gale like drafts in winter.

The fix? First, engage a good mechanical engineering firm who will accurately determine the proper equipment sizing based on a room by room heat loss calculation and design and specify an integrated control system, so that heating and cooling are not competing. We use an engineering firm called Ecolighten Energy Solutions. They will provide an engineered design matched to the size and heating/cooling loads of the home, as well as both supervise the installation to ensure that the install meets the highest standard; they will then commission the home to ensure the new system performs as designed.

Second, engage a Certified Energy Adviser, (CEA) who can perform an air tightness test to identify key air leaks as well as do an energy model with the Hot 2000 software program to better measure the design heat loss. Additionally when all the fixes are complete we can re test the home and update the energy model to measure the energy improvements.We would recommend a couple of local CEA`s, Richard Haywood from Canada Home Energy or Luke Dolan from Capital Home Energy.

When completed the home will be as comfortable as it is beautiful, ending 10 years of crippling energy bills and misery.

High Performance Homes

If you have an uncomfortable home and want to know how you might improve it's performance, we can help! Contact me here or call me, 604 967 1142.

Cheers,
Bob

Posted: Friday, January 08, 2016