Weatherize Your Build

A properly weatherized home allows prospective buyers to envision life there in any season

By MICHAEL BORDES

The main goal for weatherization is to protect your home from the exterior elements and maximize the efficiency during household operation. A home that is located in the four-season areas has four reasons to weatherize.

Preparing to Weather the Winter

Winter, in my opinion, is the most important, due to the severe cold temperatures, snow, cold rain, and winds, all of which can make for a very uncomfortable environment if the home is not weatherized properly. By having each home protected, it will also help in saving money on monthly utility bills. Items such as caulk, insulation for your walls and attic, weather stripping, roof shingles, siding, sealed windows and doors, etc., are all useful and important factors in keeping your home and family safe and comfortable.

Energy Efficiency Benefits

Energy upgrades are very helpful and useful to run an efficient home. Aside from the above protective items, you may also have areas such as crawl spaces that are prone to develop many cracks, falling insulation, air gaps, unsealed doors, or exterior siding gaps that need to be caulked and sealed appropriately. Many of these areas create problems and they need to be addressed immediately. If you have outdated or poorly functioning windows and doors that let a large amount of cold air in or out that provides very little ventilation in the summer, window replacement and door replacement may be a better alternative for your home. Updating to energy-efficient windows and doors can make a bigger difference than you might think and can significantly increase your home build’s overall comfort level.

A “Whole House” Approach

The weatherization concept should be analyzed, and a whole house approach should be taken. To actually create a great weatherized home, it takes many approaches, and all are equal solutions. Any and every homebuilder should look at their home as an envelope. This envelope must be sealed from the top, sides, and bottom. Each step you take should be reviewed and thought out to see why the home is failing in different areas, and each area should be addressed independently. The good news is, many of the solutions for air in small to large gaps can be remedied with insulation, caulk, or other sealants. This means for the exterior also including windows, doors, siding, gaps, cracks, and any other locations that might be compromising the home’s integrity.

The Power of a Thermostat

Another realistic approach to weatherization is leaving the thermostat on a temperature that creates a balanced ambient temperature. In other words, when you raise or lower the thermostat, you are causing the inside climate to change, and when you raise or lower the temperature you also raise and lower the temperature on the walls, floors, ceilings, and all the furnishings in each room. If you lower the temperature too much, the furniture will acclimate to that temperature and will create an environment that will remain cool or closer to the temperature settings. However, by keeping the temperature somewhere in between, you will be able to keep the inside of the home, including all the furnishings, much warmer and at a much more steady and consistent temperature.

Having a steady approach or a comfortably balanced approach will help in many different ways. The seesaw effect will not happen, and your utility bill will also be steadier. People do not realize the additional costs related to raising or lowering the thermostat to drastic conditions. What this means is that if you were to leave your home and drop the thermostat from 72 to 65 degrees while you are not home and then increase it back when you return at the end of the day, your equipment will run for hours in order to try and catch up and get back to the 72-degrees temperature. By leaving the temperature somewhere in between, the home will remain comfortable while homeowners are out and more efficient when they turn it back up the following day and only have to increase the temperature a few degrees to get back to the designated ambient temperature. You and homebuyers alike will find this tip to be very useful.

Michael A. Bordes is a certified General Contractor and President of AA Jedson Company LLC. He has decades of experience in construction management. To learn more, please visit jedsoncompanyllc.com.