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What Is A Thermal Envelope For Colorado Homes?

homeowner feeling chilly due to poor home thermal envelope

Your home is supposed to keep you comfortable during the summer and winter. If it feels cold and drafty indoors, then something isn’t right. Don’t be too quick to point fingers at the heating system. Maybe your boiler or furnace is working well, but the house itself has issues that are causing your discomfort. You need to fix these first, or else the misery will continue indefinitely. Read on to understand the concept of a “thermal envelope” and how it affects indoor comfort.

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The Basics of a Thermal Envelope

The thermal envelope is the home’s outer shell. It’s comprised of exterior walls, the roof, and the floor. Also included are fixtures and other materials on these surfaces, such as doors, windows, insulation, caulking, weatherstripping, and air retarders. The building envelope shields the interiors from moisture and extreme temperatures. If the shell is poorly designed and constructed, then drafts and water may get inside. Heated or conditioned air may also escape, forcing the HVAC system to work twice as hard as it should. Degraded thermal envelopes in old homes can perform better after an upgrade.

What are the Functions of a Thermal Envelope In Fort Collins?

Air Control

A good thermal envelope must restrain airflow for continuous comfort. This will ensure condensation prevention, efficient energy consumption, and healthy indoor air quality. A house where you feel drafts all the time has bad air control. You will need to seal holes and cracks to make these go away.

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Moisture Control

Moisture is everywhere around us: snow, rain, and water vapor. If it gets into the home, then it can weaken the structure and cause property damage. Excessive moisture can also encourage the growth of mold and mildew, which are bad for health. The thermal envelope is responsible for keeping moisture under control so that it doesn’t overwhelm the house.

Thermal Control

The shell of the home should keep the indoor temperature steady no matter what’s happening outside throughout the year. It must prevent heat from moving in or out, so the HVAC system can reach the thermostat setting more easily. Insufficient control calls for better insulation.

Reasons Behind Thermal Envelope Failure In CO Buildings

Bad House Design

Most architects know about proper thermal envelope design today, but that wasn’t the case before. Older homes may have been designed more for aesthetics than for year-round comfort. Architects may have also chosen incompatible materials that create problems over time. Expert evaluation will reveal all the underlying issues so you can address them.

Poor Craftsmanship

Even if the design is impeccable, the execution may be less than ideal. The contractor could have taken shortcuts to save money and pad profits. The workers may lack the skills or the time to build the house properly. Poor craftsmanship can lead to thermal envelope failure.

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Thermal Bridges

Thermal bridges connect the indoor and outdoor environments. These need to be minimized in the design of the house. They occur when structural support touches doors, windows, and the like. Gaps between them are prone to air movement in both directions.

Defective Materials

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Builders should choose the best available materials as much as possible for excellent results. However, sometimes the chosen materials don’t quite live up to the expectations. It could be due to manufacturing defects, careless handling, improper storage, or faulty installation.

Natural Damage

You may have the most polished thermal envelope at the start, but that will not last for long. Nature will slowly inflict wear and tear on the shell until damage sets in. This usually takes years, but natural disasters can hasten the decline. Schedule routine inspections to fix problems immediately, so they don’t get worse.

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Benefits of a Well-Insulated Thermal Envelope

If you want to improve your thermal envelope, then consider the professional installation of high-performance insulation material such as spray foam. It should provide you with the following benefits:

Stable Temperature

Added insulation will reduce outside influences on the home. The indoor temperature will remain stable throughout the day and throughout the seasons. You won’t have to change your thermostat settings often to counter wild swings around the house. Once the HVAC system has achieved the ideal temperature, it will stay there for longer.

Energy Efficiency

image of efficiency sign depicting home efficiency

Thanks to the new insulation, the furnace and the air conditioner won’t have to work as much as before. That means they can achieve your temperature settings using less energy. It’s great for eco-conscious consumers who want to reduce their environmental impact.

Substantial Savings

It’s not just the planet that benefits from improved insulation and increased energy efficiency. Homeowners also get great perks such as lower energy expenditures thanks to reduced consumption. Over time, the savings can add up to a substantial sum. This offsets the cost of the insulation.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Spray foam can create a tight seal around the surfaces on which it sticks. Air and water won’t be able to move across the barrier. That means dust, pollen, smoke, and pathogens from the outside won’t be able to get inside the home through the cracks like they used to. Indoor air will be easier to breathe without these pollutants. Allergies are less likely to flare up.

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The thermal envelope should keep you comfortable. If drafts and excessive temperatures won’t let you rest, then it’s time to investigate. Hire energy experts to figure out what’s causing the problems you’ve noticed. If your home needs airtight sealing and better thermal control, then an insulation upgrade could be part of the solution.

Thermal Envelope Fort Collins CO

When it concerns improving your thermal envelope and insulation, consulting with a professional is the best option. However, not all will offer the same quality of service and pricing. Always work with the best one in your area. Residents of Fort Collins and the neighboring area can call Ascend Construction for superior service.

Ascend Construction specializes in insulation removal and installation, energy conservation, energy audits, whole house fan installations, and more! You can count on us to provide you with superior service that outshines the rest!

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Contact Ascend Construction for a free consultation today. We can provide you with practical solutions to address the problem areas in your Fort Collins home. All of our services are affordable and our work is guaranteed. Click here to contact us or click the button below to give Ascend Construction a call. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.

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Ascend Construction
301 S Howes St #1241
Fort Collins CO, 80521
(970) 420-5495