New Construction

While a home is being built is the easiest and most cost effective time to make sure it is sealed up correctly.  Dynamic Energy Solutions can help builders or new home buyers with our pre-sheetrock inspections that check for placement of air barriers and proper air sealing, the insulation used and correct installation, and examining rough-in duct work and HVAC installation.   The post sheetrock testing that we perform will verify that ducts and the building envelope are tight. All types of insulation have pros and cons and every type can have flaws during installation that can hinder the home for its lifetime.  The same can hold true for the HVAC and duct system. Moisture is the number one problem that will shorten the life of a home.  Where moisture or moisture-laden air enters or exits a home matters. Condensation on pipes, rafters, roof decking, HVAC units and ducts, or other areas of home can allow mold or mildew to begin growing at the source. 

An energy efficient home that obtains a HERS rating can offer these benefits to builders and home buyers:

  • An 8% average higher resale value
  • Better indoor air quality and overall comfort
  • Properly sized heating and AC units
  • Safer homes because mold and mildew are much less likely to occur
  • Documentation of insulation values, window values, projected utility costs and increased appraisal value because of built in energy efficient features which are verified by an independent third party HERS rater. The amount of air changes per hour that a home has and duct leakage are verified through scientific testing. Each home that obtains a HERS rating is entered into a national database so builders or homeowners can always access this information.

Dynamic Energy Solutions can also work with builders or persons looking to build a new home very early on in the design stage.  The direction the front door faces, the overhangs above windows, number of covered porches and their depth can all play a factor in how energy efficient the home will be.

A new home is a very large investment. New home buyers have the right to request a HERS  rating by a truly independent third party inspector. Typically, after one year it is the homeowner who must pay to remedy any comfort issues or to make necessary repairs that effects energy efficiency.

For better indoor air quality and lower humidity, the size of the heating /cooling unit matters tremendously and so does the placement and number of returns in a home.  Whether fresh air from outside should be included into the system may depend a lot on the type of insulation used or how it is installed.

New home buyers should be concerned if a builder states they build energy efficient homes, but cannot provide proof that they have met the current 2009 IRC (International Residential Code) and energy codes adopted by the state of Texas in 2011.  Duct work must leak less than 4, 6 or 12 percent depending on what phase of construction they are tested at.  The adopted energy codes recommend less than seven air changes per hour while a blower door is being used at specific test pressures. The lower the air changes and the less duct leakage a home has, the more efficient and sustainable it will be.

Home buyers should inquire as to whether a Manual J Report was used to properly size the heating and air conditioning unit(s) for the home.  If a builder cannot provide written documentation of the features listed above, home buyers should request the documentation.  These new building codes apply to all homes that are built in Texas, whether they are within city limits or out of city limits.