Heat loss / Guides

Energy modeling simulation of heat loss through thermal bridging
Efficient home design

What is a thermal bridge and why is it so important to break it?

...heat loss and the higher bills that come with it, it is about comfort and quality of life. On really cold days it can make being too close to walls quite unpleasant, rendering part of your home somewhat unusable at times. Wood, metal and concrete in exterior walls act as thermal bridges, conducting far more heat than...

Exterior air barrier membrane © Ecohome
Air and vapour barriers

How to install an air barrier for reduced air leakage

...heat loss of a home and cause significant moisture damage in walls, as one small hole can be responsible for depositing countless litres of water inside walls. Houses should always be built as airtight as possible, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers: The job...

Thermal image showing where home heat loss is occurring.
Insulation and soundproofing

How insulation works

...heat transfer, helping keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. How well-insulated your home is will determine how comfortable it is and how much you will spend on energy for heating and cooling, and in some respects, how durable it will be. The transfer of heat (or heat loss) occurs in 3 ways: conduction , ...

Basement wall insulation
Insulation and soundproofing

Properly insulating basements and concrete slab floors

...heat loss through foundation walls also varies between below-grade and the parts above. Over a heating season, there will be much more heat loss through above-grade walls than those below. Therefore, with one wall and two rates of heat transfer, this leaves the dilemma of insulating more than you need below, or less ...

Skylights can be problematic in a high performance home
Windows and doors

Are skylights an asset or a liability?

...heat on sunny days in winter (with the right orientation and angle), but the heat they lose when the sun is down will far outweigh any heat they gain. The real heat gain unfortunately comes in summer when you don't want it. The most common roof angles are a lower slope that don't work well with the angle of the winte...

How to insulate basements properly
Insulation and soundproofing

Best practices for basement insulation in new home construction

...heat. Thermal image of basement insulation and heat loss © Ecohome Exterior basement insulation is less common, probably due to the fact that it can be more expensive. And there are certainly less cases where insulation is installed on both sides. By insulating the exterior of basement walls w...

heat pumps in tandem with heat pump hot water tanks
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Increased efficiency with heat pumps working in tandem

...heater that offers you only a 1 to 1 ratio. The Voltex water heater from AO Smith is an air-to-water heat pump which extracts heat from the air to generate hot water, so in the winter that 3 to 1 heating ratio of the first heat pump is transferred to the water heater. And the more 'free' heat you have in winter (sola...

Balanced insulation levels in a green home
Efficient home design

Insulation in Green Home Building, a balanced approach to putting it where it does the most good

...heat movement and insulation is a bit like that. The cold hard facts about heat loss: Yes, a bit more heat is lost through the ceiling than the walls, but not nearly as much as much as you might think. The rate of heat loss from any surface of your home depends on the difference in temperature, and it just isn't ...

Correct window installation details
Windows and doors

How to install windows

...heat gain and reduce energy demand during operation. Choosing higher quality windows on all sides of your home will mean reduced heat loss over a poorer quality window, and with the right windows on the south side you can gain more heat in the daytime than they will lose at night. For how to choose the best windows for...

Concrete floors and timber frame as thermal mass
Efficient home design

The pros and cons of thermal mass in buildings

...heat stored in mass inside the building envelope, it will slow the temperature drop and possibly prevent you from needing to seek shelter elsewhere until the power comes back. Heating during off-peak hours: If you rely on radiant heat from thermal mass such as heated concrete floors, this can make heating with ...

Electric Heaters - is heating with electric an eco-friendly option?
Heating with electricity

Heating with electricity

...heat with electricity. On top of the cost of the furnace and duct work (which can be quite expensive), operation requires not only generating heat, but energy is also required to distribute that heat throughout your home. Heat loss can occur through ducts in spaces that you don't intend to heat, further reducing overal...