Q: My home has hot and cold areas. What can we do to improve that? A: With a rare exception most if not all existing homes have areas in the home that vary in temperature. Upstairs temperatures may vary from the downstairs or one side of the home may differ from the other. Too often people will try to get the heating and cooling system to fix the problem. Thousands of dollars are spent with little success. To improve comfort it all starts with the building envelope. We have virtually eliminated areas of discomfort (a 7 year quest). We spent time determining the correct positioning and design of the home as it relates to the sun. Roof overhangs, window coating for solar performance can make big differences in a home’s performance. Build them tight and ventilate right is the mantra. Right now we have adjusted our standards again to improve the comfort and performance of our homes. We have gone to 2 x 8 wall construction with staggered studs with Owens Corning L77 blow in insulation. We have also included a 1” continuous insulation on the exterior wall. We test every home with a pressurized test to determine air leakage. We attack sealing the home aggressively. We are also building conditioned crawl spaces as a standard. What this means is that our crawls spaces are weather tight, ventilated properly and are protected from moisture. Radon gas mitigation is a standard. Our whole house is now ventilated as a standard with HRV’s (Heat Recovery Ventilations systems) and the best air infiltration system on the market. Clean, fresh air is now circulating in our homes. We right size every home for their heating and cooling systems. We software model each home for optimum performance. If you are considering a new home, I would suggest the above. If you live in an existing, I would highly recommend you contact Clark Public Utilities. They will conduct a free ‘ENERGY AUDIT’ that will help you determine where to focus to improve your homes performance. Next week the benefits of continuous insulation on the exterior walls. Thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian a part of your day. Please submit questions to email@example.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!