Your family’s comfort is important to Ongaro & Sons. We understand what it takes to make your home safe, healthy, comfortable and efficient.
Getting the Most Comfort for Your Money
Comfort is different for every body. Some people like it hot. Some people like it cold. Some people don’t mind a little dust in their home. But for the majority of us, we prefer to have a home that has properly controlled temperature, humidity, and air quality.
Comfort is like a three-legged stool. It takes the heating & cooling equipment working in connection with your air duct system, and the shell of your house (sometimes called the thermal envelope) to provide a controllable indoor environment. If any one of these components fails, your family will not enjoy the comfort they deserve. Let’s take a look at these three components in more detail.
Heating & Cooling Equipment
The heating & cooling equipment in your home must be properly sized and matched to meet the requirements of your home and lifestyle. Many factors go into properly sizing your heating & cooling system. These factors include:
- Ceiling height
- Square footage
- Insulation levels
- Size & type of windows & doors
- Number of occupants
- Area of exposed walls
- Orientation to the sun
- Number of fireplaces
- Number of heat producing appliances
- Infiltration levels in the home
The exact sizing can be computed using the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Residential Heat Load/Heat Gain Calculation method (Manual J). Once the size of your equipment has been determined, it must be attached to a properly designed and installed air duct system.
Air Duct System
The air duct system in your home is designed to carry air to each room in your house through a series of pipes and vents. The ducts that take air to each room are commonly called “supply ducts” because they supply air to the room. The ducts that bring air from the house back to the equipment are called “return air ducts” because they return air to the equipment to be heated or cooled. Your air duct system is designed to be a closed loop system. This means that all air that enters the return ducts is heated and/or cooled then supplied to the house, without any uncontrolled interaction with the air outside. Unfortunately, most air duct systems have way too much leakage, which causes your heating & cooling equipment to function at less than peak performance. In fact, the US Department of Energy has found that the average homeowner’s air duct system loses 25-40% of the heating & cooling energy put out by the central furnace or air conditioning system due to leaky air ducts. Having a leak in your air duct system is like having a leak in your veins or arteries. Leakage in duct systems can also cause excessive dust, mold, mildew and uncomfortable rooms if left un-repaired. You can have the best heating & cooling equipment available, but if it is connected to a leaky or improperly designed air duct system, your family will still suffer from an uncomfortable, unhealthy and inefficient home.
The thermal envelope of your home is like the skin on your body. It keeps the good things in and the bad things out. Your home’s thermal envelope is made up of:
- Outside walls
Sometimes people refer to this as the shell of your home. If your house is not properly insulated, your heating & cooling system will have to work overtime to try to maintain the comfort in your home. Insulation helps prevent heat from escaping during the winter months and also helps keep heat out of your home in the summer months. However, insulation by itself does not solve the most significant problems associated with your home’s thermal envelope. The number one problem in most homes is infiltration. Infiltration is when conditioned air from inside your home is allowed to escape while unconditioned air from outside is allowed to come in. Think about it. How much insulation do you think there is in the wall of a jet airplane? The walls are only about as thick as a typical home, but the temperatures outside with the wind-chill can easily get to -400 degrees. So why don’t we freeze in an airplane? The reason is there is no infiltration in the “skin” of the airplane. When we have control of the environment, we can maintain a comfort level with a properly sized heating & cooling system. When we allow outside air to enter the home through uncontrolled infiltration, we cannot guarantee the safety, health, comfort and efficiency of your system.
In summary, all three components of your home must be addressed to ensure a comfortable indoor environment.
How Does Radiant Barrier Foil Help My Home Stay Comfortable?
Developed by NASA and used on every spacecraft, Radiant Barrier is a lightweight high performance insulation product that shields our astronauts and temperature sensitive equipment from the extreme temperatures of space.
How does Radiant Barrier Foil work?
The movement of heat can be reversed by a reflective surface, which is a basic law of thermodynamics. Another basic law of thermodynamics is heat always flows from hot to cold. During cold weather months, heat flows out of your home. Similarly, during the hot summer season, heat flows into your home and increases energy costs. Placing a reflective surface between the extreme temperature of your attic and your living space reverses this flow of heat, saves money on heating and cooling bills, while increasing the comfort of your home.
Radiant Barrier Foil is a genuine aluminum foil laminated to a reinforced fire retardant building paper. Its extremely shiny surface intercepts and blocks 95% of the infrared heat radiating down from the roof during the summer.