These three important home performance elements combine to make your home comfortable and energy efficient by ensuring that your air conditioned or heated air remains in your home. 1st Choice Energy provides a comprehensive approach to each one, including assessment, diagnosis, remediation and professional installation. Plus, our experienced team can guide you through taking advantage of any rebates or tax incentives available.
Weatherization Saves Energy by Sealing Cracks & Gaps
1st Choice Energy has a number of tools and techniques for pinpointing where outdoor air infiltration is happening. In addition to visual inspections both inside and out, infrared camera imaging can be used to diagnose tough problems and “see” behind walls and barriers where heat and air might be sneaking into your home.
Sealing gaps commonly found around doors and plumbing penetrations with weather stripping and caulk can add up to big home energy savings. Additionally, by keeping unfiltered air outside, you’ll notice less dust, allergens and other pollutants in your home.
Improve Attic Insulation to Enhance Air Conditioning Efficiency
Attic insulation is another key factor in improving home energy performance. It's not uncommon for temperatures to reach 130-150° F in Austin attics during the summer. The only barrier between these high attic temperatures and the inside of your house is the sheet rock ceiling and attic insulation. High-performance insulation reduces the rate of heat transfer from the hot attic into your house.
As part of your weatherization assessment, we’ll take a look at your insulation to see how well it’s doing its job. If your attic needs insulation, our technicians can install CertainTeed Insulsafe® white blown-in fiberglass insulation to the thickness needed.
What R-Value of Insulation Will My Attic Require?
Insulation is rated using "R" values to measure its resistance to heat transfer. The higher the R-value, the better insulation the material provides, which really slows the transfer of heat from the attic to your house! An insulation value of R38 is recommended for Austin attics. This translates to approximately 15 inches of blown fiberglass insulation.
Duct Sealing Improves HVAC Efficiency & Indoor Air Quality
The top energy-saving measure in most Austin area homes is sealing leaky ductwork. Duct sealing solves two challenges at the same time:
1. Duct sealing keeps conditioned air in the ducts and delivers it to living areas.
2. Duct sealing prevents air that contains pollutants or contaminants like pollen, chemicals or bacteria from being circulated through your home.
To seal ductwork, 1st Choice Energy technicians use duct mastic, which is a thick, viscous sealing material that is applied to duct connections, between the register and sheet rock, and at the supply and return air plenums. The City of Austin target is to reduce leakage below 10%, but the 1st Choice Energy team often achieves leakage levels much lower than this!