These Building Materials Will Help Optimize Your HVAC System

July 14, 2020
El Paso, Texas
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With an ever-increasing fous on going green with product choices and energy consumption, many homeowners are turning their attention toward HVAC optimization.

While there are a number of energy-efficient HVAC systems on the market, one of the best means of HVAC optimization is taking steps to ensure that you never have to run heat or air conditioning, in the first place.

By carefully choosing a number of modern building materials, custom home builders and remodelers can go a long way toward optimizing their HVAC output.

#1 - Choose Wall Framing That Maximizes Insulation

The first step to take in designing an energy-efficient home is making sure you have proper insulation.

There is no shortage of insulation materials on the market, with products such as insulated structural panels being a favorite among many home builders. However, there are a number of flaws with these panels, including:

- Pre-cut design creates small cracks and imperfections when fully assembled
- Porous oscillated strand board and plywood sheathing is susceptible to degradation in the presence of moisture
- Low thermal mass can lead to temperature fluctuations

As you can see, any of these issues could lead to increased air flow into and out of the home causing the HVAC system to work overtime.

To optimize your framing, it would be better to consider insulated concrete forms (ICF). ICF structures offer solid, one-piece designs that are highly moldable on-site and non-porous, keeping nature’s elements where they belong. In addition, they have an extremely high thermal mass, which stabilizes temperature and decreases energy use.

#2 - Invest in Weather-Proof Roofing Materials

The roof is a home’s first line of defense against nature’s elements and should be a primary consideration for builders looking to control heating and cooling costs.

Traditional asphalt shingles are a favorite roofing material for many home builders, thanks in part to their appealing cost and variety of designs. However, asphalt shingles are notorious for a number of issues that will directly influence your HVAC system:

- High transfer of heat into homes, making temperature difficult to regulate
- Short lifespan due to sun and moisture damage, creating an opportunity for leaks
- Easily damaged by hail

A better alternative would be to install synthetic composite shingles on the roof of your home. 

This roofing material is made from a durable, one-piece design that makes it extremely resistant to wind and hail damage, greatly reducing the chance that any leaks would cause HVAC costs to increase.

Moreover, synthetic shingles offer a primary source of insulation and advanced UV protection, limiting the heat that is transferred into your building.

#3 - Add Moisture-Resistant Siding

Many siding materials have a way of breaking down over time, as the constant wear and tear of wind and moisture can lead to leaks that let in outside air and cause your HVAC costs to skyrocket.

As siding is the “face” of your house, there may be the tendency to think that any heavy-duty materials may not be the most aesthetically pleasing. This is not the case, and there are a number of fiber cement siding colors that will allow you to construct the picturesque home you have always dreamed of.

Fiber cement siding is made with an advanced formula that provides insulation and protection in even the most extreme climates. It is fire, moisture, and weather resistant, ensuring that your house is sheathed from the elements and helping control HVAC costs.

#4 - Use Dampers to Regulate Air Flow

While typically used in industrial settings to control air quality, there are alternate types of dampers that may be a worthwhile consideration to optimize your home HVAC system.

Dampers use a series of adjustable blades to control air flow from one side of the damper to the other. This helps with the regulation of cool, warm, high temperature, dirty, and toxic air, which can help your heating and cooling system operate at optimal efficiency.

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