Everyone talks about solar energy these days and there must be a lot of government money involved the way people are getting them put on their rooftops every day. I for one haven’t done that and will not until I take the siding off of my house, remove the sheathing and the fiberglass insulation and spray a closed cell foam insulation on the backside of the drywall. With this application we are cutting off the air infiltration thus reducing the amount of energy we need to keep our inside temperature of the house at a constant rather than letting our dollars leak out the walls, and ceiling of our house.
Take a look at the band board of a typical built house. This is where the foundation meets the framing and there is usually a little fiberglass batt placed in the floor joist cavity. This is where a lot of cold air is coming in and could easily be sealed off with an application of closed cell foam (not to be confused with the shaving cream like stuff called open cell foam) before the basement ceiling has drywall. After all, say your heat is milk and one day your kid spills his glass of milk at the dinner table and what is the first thing you do? Do you start mopping up the floor first or do you upright the glass maybe saving a little of the milk left in the glass? Of course you know what to do. In days gone by the conventional wisdom was let’s build a house that has some air leakage so we can get lots of fresh air. Well that is a little like saying let’s build a roof that leaks so we can get some water when it rains. I have seen houses built to the building codes that people literally had to wear their coats inside the house even with the heat blasting away just to stay comfortable.
I’m not denying the importance of fresh air, but we have HVAC systems that will allow a measured amount of fresh air brought into the duct work and keep our houses air healthy. What is important is keeping the warm air, or in case of summer, the dehumidified air where it is supposed to be. And these solar panels on the roof of your house? Well I don’t know how fast the roofing industry is prepared to handle these panels if you should develop a roof leak around of one of the bolts that secures the panels to the roof. I have seen how the satellite dishes are installed and many are leaking the roof around the fasteners. Imagining what is happening with a hundreds of those bolts making it very difficult to get to the leak if it should occur. I like the idea of putting the panels on an array in the yard that tracks the sun as it moves positional to the sky, after I have stopped the air infiltration that is leaking out my hard earned money.