GB3 Energy Smart Homes is a full-service solutions company. We are fully licensed and insured to implement all recommendations offered in our reports. From silicone to solar, we are uniquely qualified to make your building more comfortable, healthy and energy efficient. We have worked with hundreds of clients to help solve comfort challenges, ice damming, high utility bills, poor indoor air quality, radon, mold, carbon monoxide, or just greening your home. GB3 was recently awarded Energy Stars Home Performance Champion of the Year from the Colorado EPA.
- Safety and Indoor Air Quality
We humans spend over 80% of our lives indoors where the air is typically more polluted than the outside. GB3 assesses your entire structure for potential pollutants like radon, formaldehyde, mold, carbon monoxide, asbestos, lead, and biological contaminants. Often, the solutions to air quality issues are simple, affordable, and easy to implement.
In many homes and offices, however, indoor air quality is most affected not by pollutants per say, but by lack of proper air exchange and ventilation. GB3 measures your ventilation, if any, and calculates exactly how much you need. Ventilation solutions are also simple to implement and can dramatically improve your health.
- Air Sealing
Air leakage occurs in many areas throughout your building, not just around doors and windows. Common culprits include crawl spaces, recessed can lights, tongue and groove siding, fireplaces and chimneys, knee walls, attic hatches, vaulted ceilings, and electrical and plumbing penetrations.
Air leaks significantly raise your energy bill, make your building uncomfortable, and affect your indoor air quality. Using a "blower door", we can locate hidden leaks throughout your building and seal them to provide you with greater comfort, health, and energy efficiency. Our air sealing efforts typically result in a 25%-40% reduction, which corresponds to a significant savings on your heating loads. So air seal to keep your conditioned (and expensive) air where it belongs – inside your building.
- Duct Sealing
Duct leaks into your attic, crawlspace, or interstitial spaces force your mechanical systems to run longer and work harder, robbing you of comfort and efficiency. In many buildings, duct leakage alone can increase heating and cooling costs by 30%. GB3 can locate and quantify duct leaks and permanently seal holes, cracks and gaps in your ducts with non-toxic mastic.
In addition to leaks, many duct systems are imbalanced where the supply and return ducts pressurize or depressurize rooms respectively. These pressure differentials can literally drive air in and out of your home resulting in discomfort, energy loss, and increases the likelihood of mold and moisture problems. GB3 has the sophisticated tools to perform pressure diagnostics on your duct system and can provide solutions to get the performance out of your system you expect.
Heat loss and gain through materials comprise the largest energy demand on most buildings. For most older buildings and surprising number of newer buildings, adding insulation is a cost-effective way to reduce this heat loss and gain.
GB3 takes time to insulate thoroughly and correctly - always using a complete air barrier to stop airflow through insulation - so that you not only experience greater comfort, but also reduce your demand for heating and cooling. In fact, we spend more time preparing and sealing before insulation than most companies spend on the entire project; There is more to effective insulation than just increasing the quantity and our results prove it.
We use many different types of insulation - cellulose, fiberglass, spray and rigid foam - and install the best material for your situation. In addition, we use high quality insulation products that do not contain formaldehyde, ammonium silicate or other cheap fillers.
In addition, GB3 also has the equipment and training to "drill and fill" existing cavities -- where we add insulation to existing walls, ceilings, garages, attics, cantilevers, and other closed assemblies to greatly improve their performance.
Ventilated crawlspaces are common in Colorado and often cause more problems than they solve. Originally thought to help moisture escape to the outside, venting actually exacerbates condensation and often causes condensation and odor in the first place. (Colder temperatures lower the dew point and causes condensation to occur.)
New building codes allow for "conditioning" a crawlspace; basically treating the space like a mini basement. By completely sealing all fresh air vents, covering and sealing the ground with a high quality vapor barrier, and properly insulating the walls with insulation + air barrier, GB3 can help you make your crawl space, certainly the space above, and often your entire home much more comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient.
- Heating Systems and Hot Water
The most efficient heating system is one that isn't used. But the reality is that that once we've reduced the need for heat through insulation, air sealing and the like, you're still going to need a safe, efficient system to heat your building and produce hot water. Whatever heat system you currently have, GB3 will ensure it is operating safely, at it's peak efficiency, and will be there to make the appropriate upgrades when the time is right.
There are many new super-efficient and safe heating options from ground source heat pumps to high efficiency modulating boilers to solar thermal - and we're fans of them all. In addition, there are also many attractive low-tech options like wood and passive solar which might also be a good fit. GB3 will help you choose and install the system that is right for your unique situation.
- Cooling Systems
There are numerous efficient and effective ways to keep cool in summer. Depending on your home, the solutions can range from simply reducing solar heat gain through windows, to a fully-zoned, high efficiency air conditioner. GB3 prides itself in finding the right solution for your specific needs. We offer high quality Airscape whole house fans, incredibly quiet and healthy Breezeair evaporative coolers, Armstrong/Lennox central AC, and ductless mini split systems from LG. All our work is done in house by our qualified installation crew so you can rest assured that the work will be done right.
- Solar Thermal and Solar PV
All energy comes from the sun, whether we're burning wood, coal, natural gas, propane, heating our homes with heat pumps, or even the wind - it's just a matter of what form the sun's energy has taken and how that energy is stored. One of the most elegant ways to heat our water and provide electricity is by direct solar themal or solar photovoltaic.
Solar thermal is a simple, time-tested approach to heating water. While there are many system varieties from simple batch heaters to more complicated drain-back systems and evacuated tube collectors, solar thermal basically takes the sun's energy and heats water - and we've got plenty of sun in Colorado. The cost for solar thermal systems to provide domestic hot water needs typically start around $5,000, and depending on available rebates, will provide a 10 - 15 year simple payback.
Solar photovoltaic, or PV, has also been around longer than you think and is now simple to install and is guaranteed for decades. Modern systems can provide all your electric needs and more. Whether simply tying into the existing grid without batteries, or supplying all your independent power needs off the grid, GB3 can provide the PV solution that fists your needs starting around $4/watt.
Windows are an important part of the building envelope. Replacement or storm windows typically save a modest amount of energy, but can in fact make a huge improvement in your comfort. So, whether it's simply refurbishing the weather-stripping on your existing windows, adding insulating shades, storm windows, or new windows, GB3 can help you make the best decision for your home.
So, whether it's simply refurbishing the weather-stripping on your existing windows, adding insulating shades, adding cost-effective storm windows, or investing in new super-windows, GB3 can help you make the best decision for your particular situation.
- The Little Things
The little things matter when it comes to building comfort, health, and energy efficiency. Whether it’s installing a compact fluorescent or LED light, a programmable thermostat, or retrofitting a toilet to dual-flush, GB3 is a full service energy solutions company and will work with you to take your building to the next level. Every building is unique and calls for a unique solutions. Let us use our expertise to look at your building as a system and design a road map that spells out how to reach your goals be it complete energy independence or making that drafty room more comfortable. Give us a call to schedule a complete assessment today!