Air is the New Water

Imagine if you had no control of the amount, quality, location, temperature or timing of the water coming into your house. Imagine if you were to shower, wash your dishes, do your laundry, and cook based on whatever water was hanging around, from whenever it felt like coming through the pipes or the roof or the basement. In this fantasy/nightmare world you also have to deal with the repercussions of unwanted, dirty water coming through your faucet, walls and crawlspace when you weren’t prepared for it.

breath of fresh air - spring at home

This is how we largely treat the fresh air in our homes.

You want air coming in the same as water, into your house. You want it where you want it, when you want it and clean. Just as you control all aspects of the water coming through your plumbing, you can control the air coming into your house.

After air sealing, there is a minimum safe amount of fresh air needed in your home – largely for breathing and cooking. People used to believe you should build homes super leaky to have ample fresh air. The experts finally saw the folly in that line of thinking and now there is the technology for a much better way. Building Performance Analyst, such as ourselves, can test for the amount of fresh air needed and ensure your home remains safe.

ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) installed by Responsible House in 2015
ERV air flow diagram

An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) is a piece of equipment that can be installed in your home to mechanically bring in fresh air. The very helpful thing about these, is they exchange the energy of the air going out with the incoming air, so you are not losing your energy dollars. It works with the law of thermodynamics. In the winter time the hot air going out is attracted to the cold air coming in and they exchange temperature. In the summer time the moist air that is coming out is attracted to the dry air going out and loses the humidity. ERVs have 80{7f05f7305ccbeede06e072806975648415415b267bdf3d38bf9fb54460b78bb8} efficiency.

With air sealing, building performance testing, and if needed an ERV, you can have clean, conditioned air in your house, when you want it and where you want, it just like the water through your plumbing.

A short video (one minute) in William’s own words:
Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) installed by Responsible House

#ERV #freshair #energyrecoveryventilator #greenbuilding #greenconstruction #energyefficient #diagnostictesting #airquality #airtightness #houseasasystem

Happy Clients

Responsible House worked tirelessly to bring back to life my family’s 100-year old farmhouse with a major energy retrofit and extensive structural restoration. I cannot say enough good things about this local, family owned business. They meticulously pursued perfection at… Read more “We are immensely grateful”

Joyce C.

William came to study the problem. He was incredibly thorough weighing in all possible causes and solutions to my Attic blues. He then put together a plan and executed it to perfection. If you do not go to Responsible house… Read more “Attic Blues”

Charles C.

They caulked all the places on the interior of my log home where I was losing heat. I am saving 20% on my heating bill now. The team also fixed minor issues with the house which they found during the… Read more “Very Happy With The Work”

Donna S.

The experience I had from Responsible House installing my new insulation it was quick and effortless. Their team came in and within two days I was able to return to a much warmer house. My air-conditioning would run almost constantly… Read more “Quick And Effortless”

Jason W.

The upstairs level of our home used to get extremely hot in the summertime, using a lot of wasted electricity to try to cool things down. Responsible house was able to insulate our home which ended up zeroing out our… Read more “Extremely Hot Upstairs Insulation Google Review”

Rachel B.

The most amazing contractors I have ever worked with – William saved us! You will not find anyone as professional and competent – not only in the valley but honestly anywhere. I have had so many bad experiences – Responsible… Read more “Dahlia N./ Review”

Our project consisted of a kitchen/bath/bedroom remodel – a roughly 5 month project. William and his team were the consummate professionals throughout–skilled, knowledgeable, straightforward and direct. They provided advice and recommendations when needed and dealt promptly with any problems that… Read more “Kay B./ Review”

Not only do they provide high quality services, they also are extremely easy to work with and they have a strong sense of design. -Michael Brown/… Read more “Michael Brown/ Review”

“We highly recommend him and his team, and especially for a custom plan containing elements which are not standard construction.” –Custom Home… Read more “Custom Home Client/”

They have a very thorough attention to detail, and always rendered results that were exactly what the clients and I were after. –Annie M./… Read more “Annie M./ Review”

A Net Zero Home
When conditioned air is trying to escape to the coldness outside, it has a hard time. This house only allows it’s volume of air to switch with the outside once every 24 hours. That’s 12 times more efficient than the average home. This is the 2nd tightest house we have built.
Outdoor Kitchen Window
Energy efficiency is not about your windows but this is one of the times we do recommend replacing your windows - when you are reimagining your space. This kitchen renovation on a 200 year old home also highlights Responsible House’s breadth of experience and that we can handle any projects tangential to your insulation needs.
Kitchen Remodel
We had to give you a peek of that window and kitchen from the inside. Truly reimagined!
Nellysford Cottage
This adorable cottage may not look fierce, but it is holding onto it’s air envelope mighty tightly. It takes 12 hours for all of the conditioned air inside of this house to sneak through the tiny holes present and be replaced by unconditioned air from the outside. In contrast, the average home does this every 2 hours. Super leaky homes (and plenty exist) perform far worse than that – every hour or even less!
Bungalow Remodel
These homeowners took it slowly over 5 years - insulated the ceiling of their basement, replaced their roof to prep for solar, had some solar installed, conditioned their attic (and replaced old HVAC equipment), and finally completed their solar array. Their home is cozy and energy efficient now.
Annie Interior
On a cold day, this home exchanges the entire envelope of air inside with the outside air about once every 40 hours. This is stunningly low! This translates to not having to keep your heater running on a cold day because you aren’t constantly heating the outside air that is coming in. The average house exchanges it’s entire volume of air (that you paid so dearly to warm up or cool off) with the outside air every 2 HOURS.