Evaluating Solar Powered Attic Ventilation & Day Lighting To Build Better Home Energy Assessments
We wanted to take some time to go over details of a proper home energy assessment as it relates to solar powered attic ventilation and day lighting,
One of the first jobs of a Home Energy Technician (HET) is to look for penetrations between the living area of the house and the attic area. Research has proven that improperly installed recessed can lights are the major contributor of conditioned air leakage into the attic. If there are recessed can lights, you can reasonably assume that air leakage is occurring. We recommend a complete overview of all penetrations between the living area and the attic. If holes or cracks are detected, seal them up using a siliconized acrylic caulk on the lower portion of the ceiling/fixture area and a fire rated silicon caulk (fire rated foaming caulk is also a good option) in the upper portion of the fixture.
Watch this youtube video for additional how to info.
How much of an impact do recessed can lights have on the total air leakage picture of a home?
It is estimated that one conventional (IC or non IC) fixture can be responsible for the loss of between $5 and $30 per year worth of energy. In addition, it can dump about one-third of a gallon of water daily into a cold attic. These estimates are based on actual measurements performed by the Mechanical Engineering Department at Penn State University.
Leaking air penetrations are not isolated to recessed can lights. Bathroom exhaust fans, air conditioning vents, plumbing pipe penetrations, and other living area to attic areas are also great candidates for leak sealing. yellowblue™ would also highly recommend checking around all doors and windows for a good tight seal. When necessary, correct improper seals using a high quality weather seal available at most home centers. Addressing these areas will help reduce energy consumption and make your home a lot more comfortable.
There are many reasons to seal these penetrations. But the main reason is to ensure that yellowblue’s solar attic fan brings in fresh outside air into the attic, not the air inside your home. Other solar powered attic fans are not as powerful as the yellowblue™ solar attic fan, so it is especially important to make sure that the installation is completed correctly.
Will brightening up your home make a difference?
Another responsibility of yellowblue™ Home Energy Technicians is to determine if there are any areas in your home that you would like to make brighter. Per a paper from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the use of day lighting decreases utility costs and improves the well-being of building occupants. Every home and homeowner is different. So, we conduct thorough evaluations of the home with feedback from the homeowner on existing lighting to build better home energy assessments.
When appropriate, we recommend installing our e-Sun, a solar-powered, full spectrum, natural sunlight simulator. The e-Sun performs best in a small to normal sized bathroom, hallway, laundry room, or kitchen. If the kitchen is over 100 Square feet, you will need two or more units depending on the level of brightness desired. There are many selling features for the e-Sun. Here are a few:
- Qualifies for a federal tax credit of 30%
- Easy to install
- The solar collector can be placed on a sunny part of the roof
- Beautiful recessed look on the ceiling featuring a completely air sealed housing
- Lasts over 30 years
- Full spectrum natural light will support plant growth.
Installing at least one or more of the e-Sun’s will reduce your electrical demand because no power is needed to operate the unit during the day! A nighttime powering feature is also available in the event that you cannot live without the beautiful natural light that the e-Sun produces.
At yellowblue™, we look forward to providing you with the absolute best products in the industry, so we can help you create a more comfortable and efficient home. The future belongs to the well-prepared Home Energy Technician. We strive to provide our Home Energy Technicians with industry leading training and resources, so they can complete the best home energy assessment possible in your home. Opportunities such as attic ventilation and day lighting are just two of the many areas we evaluate to help us achieve our above stated goals.
Want a home energy assessment done right?
Contact us to schedule a time to set up a home energy assessment with one of our Home Energy Technicians. Determine if your home is ready to benefit from solar powered attic ventilation. Learn more about day lighting and other areas of your home that can be made more efficient.Schedule Home Energy Assessment