Ok, it was the president of PROSOCO, not President Obama, who used the PROSOCO R-GUARD Air & Water Resistive Barrier on his new home. With all due respect, however, I think I’m safe in saying PROSOCO’s president, David W. Boyer, knows more about air & water-resistive barriers than the U.S. president.
R-GUARD is a fluid-applied, water-based replacement and improvement on those sheet wraps you so often see torn and fluttering in the wind. R-GUARD cuts energy costs by stopping air leaks through the building envelope. All air barriers are SUPPOSED to do that, but when fabric air barriers rip, or when you put a staple through them, they’re no longer air-tight.
Your expensively conditioned inside air leaks into walls through openings like electrical and plumbing penetrations. It finds seams in the plywood, OSB or Densglass structural walls. Then it gets outside through failed mortar joints, weepholes, and other openings.
The route is convoluted and indirect, but it’s a route, and there’s usually more than one. It lets heated and air conditioned air out of your house the same as if you left a door or window open. It’s the air barrier’s job to interrupt that route — a job it can’t do if it’s torn or punctured or flapping in the breeze.
The U.S. Department of Energy commissioned a study a few years ago, in which they tried to find how much energy you could save if you could stop those leaks. The National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted the study, titled NIST 7238 - Investigation of the Impact of Commercial Building Envelope Airtightness on HVAC Energy Use.
The study concluded that air barriers that stop air leaks like they’re supposed to can reduce energy consumption (read BILLS) by more than 40 percent.
Since R-GUARD stops air leaks like an air barrier is supposed to, David used it on his new home. He’s only been in it about a month, and the place is really a lot different from his old house, so it’s probably too soon to tell about bill reduction.
But what David DID do was get the place tested for energy efficiency by Clean, Efficient Energy Company LLC, Leawood, KS. As part of the energy audit, the company blower-door tested the house for air leakage.
The auditor, Rick Jenkins, said the home was the tightest he’d ever seen.
And when Rick submitted the results, the National Association of Home Builder (NAHB) certified David’s house as a Gold Level Green Home.
It also earned certification as an Energy Star Qualified-Home.
While it might be too soon to know what kind of energy bill savings all this energy efficiency might rack up for David, there’s no question the place is energy-efficient. And that’s got to count for something. I bet President Obama would approve.
For a slightly more detailed view on air barriers and energy costs, check out the appropriately titled How air barriers cut energy costs, by yours truly.