How to make your Calgary home operate as 1 system and save money

Your home operates as a system a set of interacting, interdependent component and parts forming a complex whole. All the elements of a house, building envelope, mechanical systems and occupant activities has the potential to interact with everything and affect each other.

The result affects the performance of the house. When they all work together, the house is comfortable, safe, efficient, and durable. However, when the house parts dont work together properly, a house will experience problems. Some problems appear immediately, while others may appear years later. Some problems are evident, while some maybe hidden.

For example, reducing air leakage (by replacing windows, or sealing building envelopes) provides more comfort, energy savings and protects the envelope from moisture damage. However, with tighter homes less water vapour can escape which increases humidity levels inside the house. This can mean an increase of condensation on windows. If a house is tightened to this degree, it will now need more ventilation or Indoor air quality might be an issue. Also homes with susceptible combustion spillage appliance as tighter homes are in risk of potential for combustion spillage. Another example would be adding pot lights in the ceiling (underneath attic) can cause frost in the attic as leaky recessed light fixtures can cause moisture problems, which may lead to potential mold growth down the road. Retrofitting your house insulation levels will degrease heat loss and gain. Therefore, your existing furnace and or A.C unit can be oversized which can create other issues such as short cycling, moisture issues, indoor air quality and more energy consumption.

A change to one component of the house can have an immediate effect on another component. Before beginning any retrofit work, a review should be involved to understand which other aspects of the house may be affected and should be assessed. Major retrofit projects, you may have to anticipate the need for changes to the heating system or upgrading the house ventilation. Many small changes over time can also affect the balance of the system. So, monitoring your house carefully after each project or changes is advised to assess the impact of the changes.

By understanding these relationships, you will be avoiding problems.  Most Building failures are a result indications of failures in the house as a system. With years in the making and usually not overnight. Contractors will need to find the underlying problem, not just repair/replace the symptom of the problem.