3 Things You Should Know About Your House But You Probably Don’t

No matter the size, homes are highly-complex structures with a foundation built on science. From air conditioning and water heaters to insulation and air sealing, the mechanical systems in our buildings are deeply interconnected, and interior and exterior components must work in harmony to ensure your home is comfortable, secure, and energy efficient.

Southface’s Fundamentals of Building Science course is designed for both industry newcomers and homeowners who want to get in on the ground floor of building science. Our Building Performance Institute-certified instructors provide 8 hours of classroom and lab training in our interactive, state-of-the art weatherization center.

Though building a home can be complicated, living comfortably in one shouldn’t be. Here are just a few insights attendees will learn during our April 19 course:

 

Heat, air flow, and moisture all affect yours home’s energy performance

If you live in the south, you understand the need to beat the heat -- and humidity! We stay indoors to seek relief from high summer temperatures, but heat and moisture can find their way inside, too. Heat, air flow, and moisture levels are ultimately responsible for a home’s energy efficiency and performance, so it’s important to properly manage all three while reducing demand on your HVAC unit and other whole-building systems.

 

Heat always flows from warm areas to cool areas. You can feel this transfer of energy if you stand by a large window on a hot day. Put your hand near the glass and you’ll feel the sun’s heat. As a result of this heat transfer from the warm outside air to the cooler indoors, the air inside your home (particularly the air near the window) will start to warm up. In turn, you’ll feel warmer and will turn on the A/C -- using even more energy. In the Fundamentals of Building Science course, we’ll explain how to properly mitigate the main culprits of energy inefficiency.

 

A tight building envelope can mean the difference between “wasting energy” and “saving energy”

A “building envelope” isn’t something you’ll find at the post office. Instead, it’s the part of a home or building that separates conditioned space from unconditioned space. The exterior wall of a home, for instance, is a part of the building envelope, as is the floor above a crawl space. “Conditioned space” is the area that your HVAC system conditions. Ensuring that your home’s building envelope is tight will prevent conditioned air from leaking outside of the building envelope. Less air leakage means less energy waste, and that equates to more energy savings. Learn simple techniques to improve your home’s building envelope at Fundamentals of Building Science.

 

Improving indoor air quality positively affects energy efficiency and health

Did you know that indoor air quality is linked to your family’s health as well as your home’s energy efficiency? Our homes are exposed to countless allergens and pollutants year-round, from pollen to mold to dust. These contaminants affect our health and the well-being of our loved ones, but simple improvements like changing air filters can make a big impact on home indoor air quality. Upgrading to sealed combustion appliances (systems like gas-powered water heaters or fireplaces) that use a dedicated supply of air separate from the rest of the house can also drastically improve indoor air quality in addition to home energy efficiency. Fundamentals of Building Science attendees can expect a more robust understanding of building air quality and will be able to identify clear strategies that can be implemented to further promote occupant health and safety.

These three points touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building science fundamentals and better understanding how a house functions. What’s important to remember is that all building systems, from air quality to energy efficiency, are linked. External environmental conditions affect a home’s temperatures, mold levels, and energy outputs, which ultimately impact our family’s financial and physical well-being.

 

No matter your background or expertise, the Fundamentals of Building Science course offers a practical understanding of the house as a system. Get course details and register by clicking here.

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