Tilson Homes Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

All Tilson homes are built and inspected to the most rigorous energy codes published by the International Code Council, ensuring a high-performing home that is more energy efficient, comfortable, and durable.

Tilson homes achieve energy savings through the use of higher construction standards and program requirements such as:

  • Tight construction - Max 5 ACH or 3 ACH depending on location
  • HERS rating exceeding code and ENERGY STAR requirements
  • Matched HVAC equipment
  • Duct blaster tested
  • Blower door tested
  • Fresh air ventilation
  • 3rd party rated and inspected
  • Pressure balancing
  • And more!

Energy Efficiency Starts With the Framing

Part of the effort to achieve today's high energy standards starts with the framing.  We do a lot of things in our framing to help make our homes more energy efficient. This includes framing techniques like California corners, ladder tees, and insulated headers. In the video above, you can see an example of a ladder tee. Ordinarily, when connecting an interior wall to an exterior wall, you would extend the framing on the interior wall to be flush to the exterior of the home. In a ladder tee, the interior wall framing stops short of the exterior wall, allowing us to put insulation back behind the wall in the space that would ordinarily be blocked off by the 2 by 4. We also use California corners on all the exterior corners. This technique leaves extra space for insulation to go all the way back into the corners, making your home well insulated, tight, and giving you low energy bills. We use an R3 foam sheathing in all of our headers to get a higher R-value and achieve the energy rating.

Reducing Air Leakage

The biggest long term threat to your energy bill is air leakage. We do a lot of things to combat that. One of the most important things we do is the two-stage poly seal. The two-stage poly seal is first put around your windows, exterior toe plates, and exterior doors, because those are all the prime places where you're going to have air leakage. In addition to the polycel, we use Tyvek flexible tape that tapes from the inside out,  sealing against the Tyvek on the outside of your home.  This prevents air leakage coming back and forth from the inside to the outside of the home.  In homes with open cell spray foam insulation, an even tighter seal is achieved since the spray foam will completely seals up the envelope of the home. All of this works together to keeps the climatized air in and the seasonal air out.

Energy Efficient Windows

At Tilson Homes, we use a double pane vinyl tilt sash window. They're all American made and have a limited lifetime warranty on the frames. The windows are also tilt sash, allowing you to tilt the windows panes in for easy cleaning and then close them back up with a nice, tight seal. All of the windows come with stickers showing their solar heat gain coefficient, U factor, and other important energy efficiency details. That information is really important when we're designing your HVAC system.

Right-Sized, Matched HVAC Systems

As tight as we're building these homes, it's important to have the right-sized air conditioner. You can put too much tonnage on a house or too little. We use a software called Manual J that takes into consideration the square footage of living area, ceiling height to calculate the cubic footage, and the solar heat gain coefficients. All of this information is used to calculate the exact tonnage that your home will need to achieve the desired climate inside.

Tyvek House Wrap

Another layer of protection we put on all of our Tilson Homes is a Tyvek drain wrap house wrap over the OSB sheathing on the exterior of your home. We specifically use the drain wrap since it can be used with HardiePlank siding, or board and batten Hardie, or stucco. All of those materials can all be applied directly to the surface. The Tyvek drain wrap has little ridges in it so that as moisture builds up in the wall cavity it will stay on the outside of the home and not get into the insulation or the studs inside your home. You want that to stay outside of this membrane. The windows are taped directly to the Tyvek warp, creating a complete moisture barrier.

Handling Moisture Inside Your Home

We spend a lot of time and energy keeping moisture and water vapor out of the home. It's equally important to deal with the moisture we deliberately put in the home like in a shower. We use several methods to keep that moisture from getting into the walls and staying in your home. On a shower pan, the first thing we're going to do is put in a rubber membrane that goes up about 18 to 24 inches all the way around with no seams. It's one solid monolithic piece. Then, we put up a cementitious fiberboard called HardieBacker, which is an impermeable surface unlike sheetrock. Finally, we paint on a waterproofing membrane.

Radiant Barrier Decking

In Climate Zone 2, we improve the energy efficiency of your Tilson home by using a radiant barrier decking up in the attic. This decking blocks 97% of the sun's radiant heat from getting into the attic, keeping your attic cooler and reducing the pressure on your AC equipment and also on the conditioned air space.

Insulated Attic Stairways

For all of our attic spaces, we use high quality, R10 insulated and weather stripped disappearing stairways to prevent any of that hot air that does get heated up in the attic from escaping down into the conditioned air space. It also prevents all the air that you are paying for to heat and cool from escaping up into the attic, which is just one more way that we ensure the energy efficiency of your Tilson home.

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