Can Your Home's Building Envelope Affect Energy Efficiency?

Can Your Home’s Building Envelope Affect Energy Efficiency?

Mar 17, 2015

The reason you have an HVAC system is to keep your home feeling comfortable, even during our long, sweltering Orlando summers. What forms a climate separation between the inside and outside of your home is called the building envelope, and how well it performs can have a big effect on your home’s overall energy efficiency.

Your home’s building envelope consists of the foundation, the floors, the walls and the roof. These areas are insulated for greater resistance to heat loss and heat gain, but insufficient insulation, air leaks and other problems can reduce your envelope’s effectiveness. Doors, windows and holes cut in your exterior walls for cables and exhaust can also let outdoor conditions cross your home’s building envelope.

If your home’s building envelope is weak, heat can seep into your indoor air during the summer, making your A/C work harder to keep your home cool. During the winter, heat radiates out from your home and is lost to the surrounding environment, making your furnace or heat pump work harder to continually replenish the heat in your home. The tighter your building envelope is, the less your HVAC system will need to work in order to maintain the desired temperature.

A tight building envelope works well with HVAC upgrades, such as two-stage heating and variable-speed motors, which can vary the amount of heated or cooled air that’s delivered through your ductwork. With traditional systems, the unit will turn on to bring indoor temperatures to a desired level, and then turn off until the home begins to re-acclimate to the outdoor environment. With multi-stage systems and variable-speed motors, you can keep air circulation at a more constant level. This improves air filtration, avoids sudden noise disruptions and prevents temperature swings.

To learn more about how your home’s building envelope keeps you comfortable despite harsh weather conditions, contact Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning Service in Orlando!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Marynchenko Oleksandr/Shutterstock”