Tyson from Skyworks Designs's Profile

Display Name: Tyson from Skyworks Designs
Member Since: 4/8/14

Latest Comments...

It sounds like you are doing some great things! If I'm understanding your user name correctly it looks like you are from NH. If so, consider checking out all the federal and state tax credits for energy efficiency upgrades.

NH does a great job of incentivizing energy efficiency. One of my favorites is using solar panels. Solar panels pay for themselves in approx 10 years or fewer depending on the number of local, state, and federal incentives you qualify for.

If you don't want to pay for the panels up front, there are several companies that will install panels for free at which point you pay that company for your electricity, but at lower rates than you would pay the utility company. One company that does that is Solar City.

Good luck on your future projects!

Secrets of an Energy Star Home: How To Make Your Home More Efficient
4/8/14 02:20 PM

Adding insulation can be a great source of energy savings. However, you probably want to consider air sealing too, and possibly first. I've seen estimates that say as much as 40% of heating and cooling costs are the direct result of air leaks. For a great resource on DIY fixes check out this step by step guide from Energy Star.

Or, take a look at the link to the Energy Star pdf in the AT article. Good Luck!

Secrets of an Energy Star Home: How To Make Your Home More Efficient
4/8/14 01:46 PM

matt in kc,
We really appreciate your comment regarding suburban greenfield sites. Just like you, Skyworks Designs firmly believes that building in suburban greenfield locations can do more harm than good even if a home is extremely energy efficient. That is why this house was built on an infill site not a greenfield site. The neighborhood was developed in the early 1970's and, at that time, most lots in the neighborhood were built out. The lot where the Skyworks Designs house was completed in 2014, was more difficult to build on, so most builders passed it by.

In order to make the site suitable for construction, Skyworks spent between 30 and 40 thousand extra in construction costs. Yes, that is a huge commitment to not building on a greenfield site, but it was the right thing to do.

Additionally, Kansas City is a relatively decentralized city. Many people rarely make a trip to the downtown area. Being close to your place of employment is actually a much bigger concern. For instance, the house is less than 7 miles away from Cerner's KCK campus. Upon 100% occupancy, that campus will employ thousands of people.

It is nice to know that Skyworks Designs is not alone it's quest to avoid building on greenfield sites.

Secrets of an Energy Star Home: How To Make Your Home More Efficient
4/8/14 01:15 PM

Hi Loves Moose,
You are absolutely correct. Houses built with extremely low air infiltration rates (tight houses) should be ventilated. The picture in the article shows how Skyworks Designs achieves sufficient ventilation through using an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). Few homes require ERVs and HRVs because they have relatively high levels of air infiltration. You say that you live in an older home so I thought I would mention that it is extremely hard to air seal an existing home to a level where an ERV would be required. However, that is easily checked with a blower door test after completing air sealing work. An article by Martin Holladay at Green Building Advisor on Blower Door Basics pegs a tight home air leakage measurement at 1000 cfm50, and says that "If air-sealing work continues until the house is tightened below 1,000 cfm50, it’s advisable to install a whole-house mechanical ventilation system." There is lots more information on this and other strategies for making your house more energy efficient on our website linked within the article. If you are interested in reading the article from Green Building Advisor, this is the link.

Secrets of an Energy Star Home: How To Make Your Home More Efficient
4/8/14 12:42 PM