The flowers are blooming, and the air is getting warmer. To celebrate the earth, the K-One team has been reflecting on what makes an energy-efficient home. Within this blog series, we strive to share green solutions with existing, and future clients. The goal is to give our audience things to consider when customizing your space.

Every homeowner wants to be comfortable in their own home. A home, in the simplest terms, is for protection from the outside world (which can be scary these days).

As an upscale design and build company, we only provide our clients with the highest tier of workmanship. However, when building add-ons, pop-ups, and additions we’re often faced with the past builders’ workmanship. The past builders’ level of quality is unpredictable and varies greatly. Unbeknownst to the homeowner, a past builder can create many invisible bridges all over the home.

Invisible bridges? It’s a house, not a bridge. People haven’t discovered how to make something invisible the technology doesn’t exist!

The phenomenon being described is known as thermal bridging.

When proper care is not taken during design and installation, materials can create a thermal pathway into your home. This bridge allows the outside direct contact with the inside of your space, and energy as a form of heat to move between those spaces (Sadauskiene, 2020).

Your home is supposed to protect you against the elements. When thermal bridging occurs, more energy is wasted to compensate for that bridge. This doesn’t help your wallet or the planet!

How do you know if you have thermal bridging?

Luckily, the weather will let you know. If your home is properly sealed and insulated, you won’t feel a change during the hot summer days, or cold winter nights.

Why?

That energy isn’t being transferred through the materials that make up your walls. Heat is energy, and it moves towards the coolest place.

This picture depicts the heat passing through the wall materials. During the summer the heat moves into your conditioned space. In the winter the heat generated by your HVAC moves out.

How do we see it?

Using an infrared camera, we can pinpoint the exact areas where bridging is occurring.

What do you do about it?

Taking care of our clients, and our earth is our top priority. K-One designs homes to minimize that energy transfer. Existing homes can also be retrofitted to resolve the extant problem.

Next week we’ll discuss the other half of the comfort equation: air infiltration.

References

SADAUSKIENE, Jolanta, et al. “Impact of Point Thermal Bridges on Thermal Properties of Building Envelopes.” Thermal Science, vol. 24, no. 3B, Mar. 2020, pp. 2181–88. EBSCOhost, https://doi.org/10.2298/TSCI180719299S