Defects

Common Problems in Whole House Systems

If you have noticed several of the symptoms of an inefficient home, you are not alone. Most homes, especially those built before the late 1980s, were not built with carefully balanced and constructed systems in place. Cost cutting is only partly to blame. The main issue is that without recent advances in building science and testing technology, even the most careful builders would only be guessing at how well they were constructing a house. Subtle, almost undetectable construction imperfections can add up to major problems in a house's overall performance. Thus, even a house with EnergyStar components may suffer from seriously underperforming systems. Common imperfections and defects include:

  • Air leaking into and out of multiple gaps and crevices in the house's shell.

  • As much as 30% of heating and cooling air leaking from the ducts before it ever reaches the rooms of a house.

  • Inadequate or improperly installed insulation. Improperly installed insulation typically looses more than half of its potential temperature trapping ability.

  • Furnaces and air conditioners that are oversized by 200% to 300% working hard and frequently cycling on and off in response to rapid losses of conditioned air. This causes excess noise and increases equipment wear and tear.

  • Inadequate or contaminated ventilation air that contributes to stuffy or musty air and possible carbon monoxide poisoning issues.

  • Unbalanced airflow systems that pull smoke, fumes, or flames from sources throughout the house and could contribute to fire or toxicity hazards.

  • Sources of moisture entering the house and contributing to mold, mildew and dry rot problems.

  • Dank or rodent infested crawl spaces leading to poor air quality, lowered energy efficiency, and a variety of damage to the house.

  • Built-in lights and fans that are inefficient and leak significant quantities of conditioned air into the attic.