Guide to Energy & Renewable Energy

I have found some informative facts through the Department of Energy that I wish to share and believe it is as good to the Home Inspector as it is to the Home Owner, which it was directed at.

Since the link has to many recourses and the plain truth of it is, that no one would take the time to read it, I have re-formatted it so it can be used as printable versions to be attached to your Home Reports in an attempt to educate the Home Owner as well as ourselves at the same time.

I will post the Sub-Titles to what it is about and every now an then will provide the back up introductions.

Some of the links will bring you as far as you want to go.

Compliments of the U.S. Department of Energy

<H1>Insulation and Air Sealing

You can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs through proper insulation and air sealing techniques. These techniques will also make your home more comfortable.
Any air sealing efforts will complement your insulation efforts, and vice versa. Proper moisture control and ventilation strategies will improve the effectiveness of air sealing and insulation, and vice versa.
Therefore, a home’s energy efficiency depends on a balance between all of these elements:
[li][COLOR=#800080]Air sealing[/li][li]Insulation[/li][li]Moisture control[/li][li]Ventilation.[/ul]A proper balance between all of these elements will also result in a more comfortable, healthier home environment.[/li]


How Insulation Works

Adding Insulation to an Existing Home

Inspecting and Evaluating Your Insulation

Determining Recommended R-Values

Estimating Costs and Payback

Deciding What Type of Insulation to Add

Selecting Insulation for New Home Construction

Where to Insulate in a Home

Types of Insulation

Moisture Control

How Moisture Moves through a Home

How Moisture Moves through a Home

Crawl Space Moisture Control

**Slab-on-Grade Foundation **

Moisture and Air Leakage Control

Moisture Control in Walls

Vapor Barriers or Vapor Diffusion Retarders


Natural Ventilation

Spot Ventilation

[COLOR=black][FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=black][FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=black][FONT=Times New Roman]Whole-House Ventilation[/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR]

Hope this can be usefull to some out there.

I only need one. Ha. Ha.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley: :smiley:

Part two:

U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

A Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


Properly insulating your home will not only help reduce your heating and cooling costs but also make your home more comfortable. Here you’ll find the following information:

**Financing & Incentives **

  • Insulation Incentives
    North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
    **Department of Energy Resources **

  • Insulation Fact Sheet
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    **Federal Government Resources **

  • Building Insulation
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Related Links

  • Insulation
    Sustainable Building Sourcebook

  • Simply Insulate
    North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
    Reading List

  • Bynum, R.T. (2001). Insulation Handbook. New York: McGraw Hill.

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Content Last Updated: September 12, 2005

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Part three.

U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

A Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Moisture Control

Properly controlling moisture in your home will improve the effectiveness of your air sealing and insulation efforts, and vice versa. Thus, moisture control contributes to a home’s overall energy efficiency.
The best strategy for controlling moisture in your home depends on your climate and how your home is constructed. Before deciding on a moisture control strategy for your home, you may first want to understand how moisture moves through a home.
Moisture control strategies typically include the following areas of a home:
[li]Attics[/li][li]Foundation[LIST][/li][li]Basement[/li][li]Crawl space[/li][li]Slab-on-grade floors[/ul][/li][li]Walls.[/LIST]In most U.S. climates, you can use vapor diffusion retarders in these areas of your home to control moisture. [/li]Proper ventilation should also be part of a moisture control strategy.
Learn More

**Evaluation Tools **

[li]MOIST[/li]DOE Building Energy Software Tools Directory[/ul]**Department of Energy Resources **

[li]Building Envelope Moisture Control Technologies[/li]EERE Building Technologies Program[/ul]**Federal Government Resources **

[li]Controlling Moisture[/li]U.S. Environmental Protection Agency[/ul]Related Links

[li]Household Mold[/li]National Association of Home Builders
[li][/li]North Dakota State University Extension Service
[li]Mold and Moisture Dynamics[/li]Whole Building Design Guide
[li]How to Control Moisture[/li]Alliance for Healthy Homes[/ul]Reading List

[li]Moisture Control for Buildings (PDF 840 KB). (February 2002). American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.[/li][li]“Let’s Talk about Moisture and Mold” (PDF 459 KB). (April 2002). Quality Home. Integrated Building and Construction Solutions.[/li]Moisture Issues in Homes with Brick Veneer (PDF 860 KB). (August 2003). Integrated Building and Construction Solutions.[/ul]Marcel

Pary Four

Printable Version
How Moisture Moves through a Home

To help understand the principles of moisture control, you need to understand the basics of how moisture can move through your home.
Moisture or water vapor moves in and out of a home in three ways:

  • With air currents
  • By diffusion through materials
  • By heat transfer.
    Of these three, air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapor movement in building cavities. Air naturally moves from a high pressure area to a lower one by the easiest path possible—generally through any available hole or crack in the building envelope. Moisture transfer by air currents is very fast (in the range of several hundred cubic feet of air per minute). Thus, you need to carefully and permanently air seal any unintended paths to control air movement.
    The other two driving forces—diffusion through materials and heat transfer—are much slower processes. Most common building materials slow moisture diffusion to a large degree, although they never stop it completely. Insulation also helps reduce heat transfer or flow.
    The laws of physics govern how moist air reacts within various temperature conditions. The study of moist air properties is technically referred to as “psychrometrics.” A psychrometric chart is used by professionals to determine at what temperature and moisture concentration water vapor begins to condense. This is called the “dew point.” By understanding how to find the dew point, you will better understand how to avoid moisture problems in your house.
    Relative humidity (RH) refers to the amount of moisture contained in a quantity of air compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air could hold at the same temperature. As air warms, its ability to hold water vapor increases; this capacity decreases as air cools. For example, according to the psychometric chart, air at 68ºF (20ºC) with 0.216 ounces of water (H2O) per pound of air (14.8g H2O/kg air) has a 100% RH. The same air at 59ºF (15ºC) reaches 100% RH with only 0.156 ounces of water per pound of air (10.7g H2O/kg air). The colder air holds about 28% of the moisture that the warmer air does. The moisture that the air can no longer hold condenses on the first cold surface it encounters (the dew point.) If this surface is within an exterior wall cavity, wet insulation and framing will be the result.
    In addition to air movement, you also can control temperature and moisture content. Since insulation reduces heat transfer or flow, it also moderates the effect of temperature across the building envelope cavity. In most U.S. climates, properly installed vapor diffusion retarders can be used to reduce the amount of moisture transfer. Except in deliberately ventilated spaces, such as attics, insulation and vapor diffusion retarders work together to reduce the opportunity for condensation in a house’s ceilings, walls, and floors.
    To effectively control moisture in your home, you need to first consider your climate when exploring your moisture control options.

Printable Version

Part Five

U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

A Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Moisture Control in Basements

To effectively insulate your basement for energy efficiency and to create a comfortable space, you need to properly control moisture in your basement.
Most basement water leakage results from either bulk moisture leaks or capillary action. Bulk moisture is the flow of water through holes, cracks, and other discontinuities into the home’s basement walls. Capillary action occurs when water wicks into the cracks and pores of porous building materials, such as masonry blocks, concrete, or wood. These tiny cracks and pores can absorb water in any direction—even upward.
The best approaches for preventing these problems will depend on your local climate, type of insulation, and style of construction. However, the following general rules apply to most basement designs for creating a water-managed foundation system (see corresponding illustration):

  1. Keep all untreated wood materials away from earth contact.
  2. Provide drainage, such as gutters, to conduct rainwater away from the house.
  3. Slope the earth away from all sides of the house for at least 5 feet at a minimum 5% grade (3 inches in 5 feet). Establish drainage swales to direct rainwater around.
  4. Add a sill gasket to provide air sealing.
  5. Install a protective membrane, such as caulked metal flashing or EPDM-type membrane, to serve as a capillary break that reduces wicking of water up from the masonry foundation wall. This membrane can also serve as a termite shield on top of foam board insulation.
  6. Damp-proof all below-grade portions of the foundation wall and footing to prevent the wall from absorbing ground moisture by capillary action.
  7. Place a continuous drainage plane over the damp-proofing or exterior insulation to channel water to the foundation drain and relieve hydrostatic pressure. Drainage plane materials include special drainage mats, high-density fiberglass insulation products, and washed gravel. All drainage planes should be protected with a filter fabric to prevent dirt from clogging the intentional gaps in the drainage material.
  8. Install a foundation drain directly below the drainage plane and beside the footing, not on top of the footing. This prevents water from flowing against the seam between the footing and the foundation wall. Surround a perforated 4-inch plastic drainpipe with gravel and wrap both with filter fabric.
  9. Underneath the basement’s slab floor, install a capillary break and vapor diffusion retarder, consisting of a layer of 6- to 10-mil polyethylene over at least 4 inches of gravel.

Consult a qualified builder, basement designer, and/or insulation contractor in your area for specific basement moisture control measures concerning your climate, type of insulation, and construction style.
Learn More

**Federal Government Resources **

*]Indoor Air Quality and Basement Conversions/Remodels
Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Part six;

U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

A Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


When creating an energy-efficient, airtight home through air sealing techniques, it’s very important to consider ventilation. Unless properly ventilated, an airtight home can seal in indoor air pollutants. Ventilation also helps control moisture—another important consideration for a healthy, energy-efficient home.
Purpose of Ventilation

Your home needs ventilation—the exchange of indoor air with outdoor air—to reduce indoor pollutants, moisture, and odors. Contaminants such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, and radon can accumulate in poorly ventilated homes, causing health problems. Excess moisture in a home can generate high humidity levels. High humidity levels can lead to mold growth and structural damage to your home.
To ensure adequate ventilation, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) says that a home’s living area should be ventilated at a rate of 0.35 air changes per hour or 15 cubic feet per person per minute, whichever is greater.
Ventilation Strategies

There are three basic ventilation strategies:

Uncontrolled air movement into a home through cracks, small holes, and vents, such as windows and doors. Not recommended for tightly sealed homes.

Controlled air movement using one or more fans and duct systems.

Controlled air movement using localized exhaust fans to quickly remove pollutants and moisture at their source. Typically used in conjunction with one of the other strategies.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: