FAQ'S ABOUT ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Should I get an energy rating?                                                                                                                                                                                                ~  It really depends on what your concerns are and what problems need to be addressed. We have a variety of services for homeowners that should address every situation.

Should I replace my windows?                                                                                                                                                                                           ~  This depends on your primary concern. If comfort is the main problem in your home, there is a good chance that some or all of your windows are at fault. However, window replacement is usually only cost-effective from a long-term viewpoint. There are other things to consider, such as aesthetics and resale value. Typically, there are other measures that are less expensive and more effective to change the performance of your home.

Should I be concerned about indoor air quality?                                                                                                                                                             ~  You should be aware that good indoor air quality is not a given. Healthy indoor air quality doesn't happen by accident and it is best to be proactive about ensuring it. Builders are increasingly aware of the issue and are working toward providing better indoor air quality. Good indoor air quality also takes a commitment on the part of homeowners. 

Does it make sense to use solar energy for my home?                                                                                                                                                                 ~  It does, but only after you have taken care of the less-glamorous energy efficiency items. Solar water heating and photovoltaic (PV) power are wonderful things that we all should consider after we've made our homes as energy efficient as they can be. Getting a solar system before addressing the efficiency of our homes is discouraged and should be discussed with an energy professional first. 

Do I need to vent my cooktop or range to the outside?                                                                                                                                                         ~  If your cooktop or range is fueled by natural gas, you certainly should vent to the outside. It is not good practice to use a re-circulating hood with gas appliances. Even with electric appliances, there is the potential for damage with a re-circulating hood from high moisture. Additionally, we recommend that any vent hood with a capacity greater than 300 cfm should have designed make-up air to prevent depressurization issues in the home.

Can a house be too tight? Doesn't a house need to breathe?                                                                                                                                  ~  ~  The answer is no. Homes don't need to breathe, but people do. While we work to seal a home to make it more efficient and comfortable, we don't want to sacrifice indoor air quality. By sealing off air leaks, you ensure that the air you breathe is not coming from unsafe places. The goal is to control the air you breathe. Many homes built in Colorado today rely on the wind to provide ventilation air. A high-performance home puts you in control of the ventilation.

I'm worried about carbon monoxide. What should I do?                                                                                                                                                     ~  If you are concerned about carbon monoxide, you should ask your builder what they do to address the issue. The best builders on the market today are building homes with sealed combustion appliances that are almost impossible to backdraft. These builders also test their homes to ensure that they are performing properly.

Every builder I talk to says that they build an energy-efficient home. Is it true?                                                                                                 ~  ~  Unfortunately, it is not. However, the good news is that there are homes and builders that do meet the standards of high-performance.  Do your research before deciding on a builder.

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