When you want to build a home that is truly energy efficient, you are asking to have a home that achieves a high degree of air tightness.
However, air tightness is not the full story.
The first thing to understand about building a home that achieves a high degree of air tightness is the terms used.
Number 1 – Blower Door Testing; this is the process of using a fan to pressurise and depressurise your home.
This fan has a set of sensors on it, which are able to measure the rate at which the air is leaving or being drawn into the building, which leads to term number 2.
Air Changes Per Hour or ACH; this is measurement of how air tight your home it. To give you an idea of what this means, according to the CSIRO the average Australian home has an air change rate of 15.4 per hour.
An Enduro home has an average of 4.1 and a volume built home has an average of 20.
So what do these numbers mean, and how do they affect you?
A high ACH means that your home has a lot of leaks, so when you heat or cool your home, that air is lost to outside a lot faster than in a home with a low ACH.
This costs you money in heating and cooling bills.
How much? You can save as much as 60% on your heating and cooling by going from a 15.4 to a 4.1ACH home!
All of this air tight building sounds great right? Wrong!
If you seal a building up really well you need to make sure that it also ventilates well and rids itself of moisture correctly.
Proper ventilation is achieved by opening and closing the doors and windows of your home at the right time of day to make the best use of the outside temperature, for instance in summer you would open your house up at night to get as much cool air in, before closing it up for the hot summer day.
Getting rid of moisture from a well sealed home is important for preventing the growth of mould.
This is achieved through careful selection of the correct building materials. Something a professional builder can advise you on.
When you build yourself a new home, it’s one of the biggest investments you may ever make, so you want to ensure that not only will your home be economical to run, but healthy to live in.
To find out more about a building a quality custom home and enjoying great communication with your builder along the way, download our guide on 5 things to know about building a custom home in Adelaide