Looks can be deceiving. You may enter a beautiful model home and assume it is energy code compliant, but is it?
At Echelon Home Builders, we take into account the energy efficiency and eco-friendliness of materials and systems we use at each step of the construction process. When you walk through one of our model homes, you can rest assured that it has been built to comply with energy efficiency standards, including minimizing air leakage.
What is air leakage and why is it important?
Air leakage is caused when outside air enters a home and conditioned air escapes through cracks and openings. Air leakage can cause moisture issues that may adversely affect the health of the home’s occupants, and the durability of the structure itself. Openings can cause pipes to freeze and create uncomfortable drafts. Minimizing the amount of air leakage in and out of homes is a cost-effective way to decrease heating and cooling costs. Additionally, it helps sustain the overall structure and create a healthier indoor environment.
How can air leakage be minimized in new construction homes?
Whether an existing or newly built home, building science researches explain that the many paths through which air moves into and out of your home are created during the construction process when hundreds of seams and holes are created. If you were to combine all of the holes together in one spot, the opening would be 400 square inches or more!
The greatest impact on a home’s energy performance can be made only when eliminating the sources of air leakage through effective sealing during the construction process. Despite energy codes becoming increasingly more complicated to achieve, we are proud to announce that Echelon Home Builders is Michigan Energy Code compliant and has received the Nelson Energy Seal®.
What is the Nelson Energy Seal®?
Home Builders who have earned the Nelson Energy Seal have been certified as energy code compliant. The Nelson Energy Seal service improves the performance of new construction homes and protects the R-value of its insulation by eliminating excessive air leakage. Without it, many sources of air leakage would become inaccessible after the completion of construction.
This unique service blocks excessive leakage through the strategic application of sealants during two critical stages of the home construction process. First, during the frame stage, the exterior surfaces are sealed which include: all sill plates, bond joists, top plates, sheathing holes, electrical, mechanical and plumbing penetrations, overhangs and dozens of other problem areas. Secondly, after the drywall has been installed, we seal the edges of the openings made for electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures and other holes through the exterior walls and ceilings. This second step enables the reduction of air leakage and moisture mitigation into exterior walls and attics.
What are the benefits of the Nelson Energy Seal®?
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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