MasterMark Homes Look Even Better Under Examination
Using Infrared Energy Analysis
Under the examination and analysis of a independent auditor employing thermography — the latest in thermal infrared imaging technology — indicates that the applications and technologies used to build these extremely energy efficient, sustainable homes using renewable energy go beyond all expectations. During this survey scientific empirical data was gathered defining unequivocal evidence of these homes energy saving, environmentally friendliness and interior quality of life environments resulting, in what we believe to be the most energy efficient, sustainable and affordable housing in the nation.
During this survey the technology used was Infrared Thermography using a thermal imaging camera. Items reviewed during testing included:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Duct efficacy
Data was gathered by testing critical locations in the subject and baseline homes. The baseline home criteria was built in the last 24 months with an Energy Star HERS rating of < 100 and having an independent certified blower door test result of 1120 Pascals. The subject, a MasterMark home, was built in the last 24 months with an Energy Star HERS rating of 15 and an independent certified blower door test result of 380 CFM50. The subject home was chosen randomly from existing inventory and all inventory homes had a HERS rating between 14 and 17.
The empirical data gathered clearly indicates that the subject home had superior energy efficiencies by utilization of open cell foam insulation for its radiant, thermal and fenestration properties allowing the subject property to achieve much cooler temperatures at all locations. It is important to note several additional factors present in the subject home which contributed to achieving such superior results.
First, placement of open cell foam insulation in attic rafters created a climate controlled envelope which includes the attic space, greatly reducing stress on mechanicals and enhancing their efficiency and performance. Second, installation of low heat, low energy CFL lighting and super low E windows throughout the subject property reduced the abhorrent heat gain commonly found in most structures of this type.
Resulting performance benefits from technologies and applications surveyed are as follows:
MasterMark includes eight (8.5) inches of open cell foam insulation in the attic rafters effectively putting an end to thermal and radiant energy exchange between interior and exterior. This creates a completely sealed envelope. Then MasterMark dehumidifies and air conditions the attic space. Viewed here is an attic during September in Texas.
Outside it is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (90°F) with the roof temperature 157°F. A typical interior attic temperature would be in the range of 120°F to 140°F. The inside of this MasterMark attic temperature is a cool 80°F with the thermostat set at 76°F providing less of a work load on your HVAC unit and allowing for more consistent internally cooling.
This is a typical thermal image for a MasterMark home wall. This rather drab image with little temperature variation is at very least atypical for most homes. For that same reason, it is important to note the absence of energy exchange. In that sense, what you don’t see is more important than what we would typically see in a typical home.
This image is interesting not just because there is a 1°F temperature difference at the ceiling wall juncture, but because the studs in the wall stand out as cooler than the outside wall. Wood conducts heat faster than most typical building materials. Therefore, in an ordinary home for this day and age, we would expect them to show up as warmer than the adjacent building materials/walls. This indicates that the spray foam insulation conducts less energy than the wood even though the wood beams are also sprayed with foam but less thickly.
REGISTER VENT DUCT
This image depicts a typical MasterMark register vent duct. Cool conditioned air is going directly into the living space instead of across the walls and back in the attic as is typical of other the vast majority of homes. Careful considering is taken when sealing around the vent.
In addition, there is a 3 degree differential in the attic and living space tempertature creating assured efficiency.
Recessed lights are notoriously inefficient. This comparison is a great example of MasterMark’s attention to creating an extremely energy efficient envelop. Little to no energy leakage can be detected here as Solaris Homes takes extra steps to seal areas that would normally be overseen in standard homes. In addition, on the backside it is cooler as a Solaris Homes’ attic spaces are cooler due to the spray insulation therefore if air does leak, it is close to the home’s own living space temperature. Over the years, this unnecessary leakage, with lights scattered throughout and entire house, add up to higher utilities and higher room temperatures.
ATTIC DUCT CONNECTION
Typically the attic atmosphere can be a hostile environment. Often too hot or too cold, the temperature extremes can take its toll on the HVAC equipment degrading them quickly over time. In addition, no matter how well duct connections are sealed, there will be always some leakage.
MasterMark duct connections are sealed very well with a thick layer of mastic. No leakage can be detected, making sure properly temperature conditioned air does not leak back into the attic where it is wasted or back into the home where it can increase utility bills. However, if per chance air does leak from attic to living space, there is little noticeable difference since there is only a 3-4° variance in room temperature of the attic to the living space, whereby a typical home is approximately 50% different.