Sustainable Home Design and Build
Home Energy Improvements
Home Blower Door Testing
Part of our service involves the use of a blower door instrument to determine how efficient your home’s insulation system is. Weak spots will be determined and economically feasible solutions will be presented for your benefit. The manometer instrument that accompanies the blower door tool allows our experts to determine whether unhealthy air is making its way into your living space. We find that there are many families living in newer homes who have excess air leakage and an improperly installed HVAC system. Leaky ducts, walls, and floors can bring air into the home from the musty crawlspace or attic.
Many homes leak almost half of the air from their space conditioning systems into their attics and crawlspaces. If your ducts have not been properly sealed, your home may be in this category. In many cases, leaky return ducts can suck moldy air from your attic, basement, or crawlspace. This air enters your home, bringing with it unwanted moisture, mold spores, and dust. Do you have concerns about the indoor air quality of your home? Do your heating and cooling bills seem too high? Properly sealing the joints of your heating and cooling ducts costs $225 on average. It is an essential and affordable means of making your home healthier and more energy efficient.
Weatherization and Insulation
Each home is different, and our expertise is finding and upgrading the insulation in the areas of your home that will make the largest impact on your home’s energy efficiency. We are building scientists. Trust the experts when it comes to stopping air leakage in your house. Reducing air leakage will stop those annoying drafty areas of your home, while simultaneously reducing your monthly energy bills. Call us to schedule a quote today.
Air Quality Control
The quality of the air we breathe in our homes is worse than that of outside air. Because we spend 80-90% of our time inside, this is a problem. Do you smell mold, but can’t see it? Perhaps some moldy air from your attic or crawlspace is making its way into your home. Eliminating the moisture will stop the mold. Air sealing your house will prevent you from breathing that crawlspace air. But what else can we do to ensure that our families are always breathing clean air? What about other lung pollutants such as dust and pollen? The answer is installing a fresh air ventilation system. These units can be attached to your existing ductwork to evenly distribute HEPA filtered air from the outside. A fresh air duct pipe is run through an exterior wall of your home, and the ventilator pre-conditions and cleans the air with a HEPA filter before it enters your home’s existing ductwork. Asthma is several times more prevalent in the newest generation of young people. A fresh air ventilation system makes for healthier occupants and a healthier home.
Renewable Energy Design and Consultation
Domestic Hot Water
Domestic water heating is the second largest consumer of energy in our homes. Installation of a solar thermal water heating system can reduce your energy bills significantly. We can design an appropriate system based on the hot water needs of your family.
Did you know that the average solar thermal pool heating system pays for itself in 2-3 years? Installations are surprisingly inexpensive and generally only take our crew one day. Contact us to discuss prices. We install these systems throughout all of Virginia.
Solar thermal panels can heat water that can heat your home. These systems have a quick payback and are becoming more popular as oil prices continue to soar. Do you already have a radiant floor heating system? Solar thermal panels can provide hot water to your radiant floor piping to supplement your auxiliary power source. Solar space heating can also be delivered through existing duct systems or radiators.
Photovoltaic (PV) panels convert sunlight into electricity. We offer installations for grid-tied, battery based, and hybrid systems. PV system prices have dropped dramatically in the last five years. Whether you want to live off-grid or just enjoy the idea of living more sustainably, a PV installation could be the right fit for you.
Wind Power Systems
Viable wind power is very site specific. Perhaps you live in an area where wind energy is the best renewable energy choice. If so, we have numerous options regarding turbine size and tower installation. Take advantage of tax credits pertaining to wind energy!
Micro-Hydro Power Systems
Much like wind, hydro power’s payback period is dependent upon the site. The positive side is that this renewable energy source can sometimes provide enough power to supply all of your electrical needs! Our hydro site evaluators use several different site analysis techniques for determining whether your stream is a good option for a future hydro-turbine installation.