Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

What Can a Home Envelope Do for Your Home?

Every building has something known as an “envelope.” Simply put, it’s the physical barrier (i.e., the building itself) between the conditioned interior and the unconditioned exterior. Your home envelope refers to a physical boundary that includes these:

  • Vapor control and/or vapor barriers to keep moisture out (important if you live in a damp setting)
  • Insulating windows and window seals
  • A facade with heat-resistant materials
  • Proper ventilation and air distribution

When these factors are in place, the home (or any building) will be more energy efficient, costing less to cool and heat while boosting comfort levels.

Tighter envelopes with fewer leaks keep conditioned air in and unconditioned air outside.

Building Envelopes in Our Warm, Arid Climate

The Yuma area is warm and dry, so most of us are more concerned with the cooling season than with heating — and only minimally concerned with keeping humidity out.

Air sealing is one of the best means in any climate to improve the home envelope. You can go around the house and find potential leaks on your own — waving a lit wand of incense is one such way; when it wavers, there is likely a leak — and seal them with insulation, weatherstripping, or caulk.

Or, you may want to hire an energy auditor who can test your home’s envelope with professional equipment. Those tests may include a blower door test or thermographic imaging. Sometimes, the auditor will perform an initial test, sealing leaks once they are discovered, then perform a follow-up test to see if further sealing is needed.

Some areas to target:

  • Inspect pipes, wires and cables that run through an exterior wall. Fill gaps with insulation.
  • Put foam gaskets under plates in electrical outlets located on exterior walls.
  • Check out the attic or basement for gaps where the ceiling and walls connect; fill with insulation.
  • Install insulated boxes around recessed lighting cans in the attic.
  • Install a door sweep on exterior doors.

For more information on the home envelope, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We provide quality HVAC maintenance, installations, and repairs in Yuma.