NH Company Producing Energy Efficient Log Homes

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Coventry Log Homes Scores Well on Energy Rater's Blower Door Test as Home Goes Through the ENERGY STAR® Rating Process

With all the buzz about energy efficient products in the news today, it’s nice to know that New Hampshire based companies are helping lead the way. Coventry Log Homes, Inc. based in Woodsville, NH has been producing packages for more than 16 years and the Elliott family has been building them for over 40 years. Mark Elliot, vice president of Coventry said “log homes naturally fit the bill for an energy efficient home.”

As a leader in the log home industry and a member of the Log Homes Council, Coventry Log Homes is an active participant in the energy codes. Elliott was the spokesman for the industry as the codes were adopted this last year in NH.

“It took many trips to Concord and working with the help of the NH Code Review Board to make sure log homes were recognized for the energy efficient type of construction that they are. The Board realized that log homes are a different form of construction and must be looked at in that light. It was a pleasure working with a group of code enforcement professionals who were willing to see these differences,” Elliott said. This new code became effective April 1, 2010.

Coventry Log Homes has been an Energy Star Partner and was on hand recently to witness a Blower Door Test conducted on a Coventry Home owned by Lloyd and Joanne Donnellan. GDS Associates conducted the test, they are an accredited Home Energy Rating System (HERS) provider, authorized to conduct unbiased third-party energy assessments. The HERS scoring system is used to qualify homes for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) utility-sponsored ENERGY STAR Homes program, which offers substantial rebates of up to $2,000. The incentives in future energy savings though is what is attracting homeowners to improve their homes performance while gaining the ENERGY STAR rating.

The Coventry Log Homes standard 6x8 tongue and groove log construction sealed with provided foam strip and special caulking gives the home such a tight seal that this home could have passed with a score of 1900 but scored a 700, (the lower the score the better) so in effect it scored over double what it needed to in order to pass.

While interviewing Jennifer Ferrante of GDS Associates, she commented “the home really surprised me” on how well it was sealed, the home performed “over twice as good as I was expecting.”
The Blower Door Test determines the air infiltration rate of a building or in laymen terms a home’s airtightness. The information is used to ultimately reduce energy consumption and protect the quality of the air by avoiding moisture condensation issues.

Installed in an exterior doorway, a blower door consists of an adjustable frame and panel fitted with a powerful variable-speed fan. Hoses are connected to a pressure gauge and a manometer to measure air flow. After the home has been readied by blocking outside air access the fan pulls air out of the house effectively lowering the air pressure inside. The higher air pressure from outside will flow into any accessable areas. If a reading is not favorable, a smoke pencil may be used to pin point trouble spots. For this reason it is desireable to conduct the testing during the construction phase to allow for on-the-spot adjustments based on recommendations from the test findings. This home passed with no trouble spots at all. One more reason a properly designed and constructed log home makes energy efficient sense.

To view a video of the test go to http://www.coventryloghomes.com.


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Chad Grant

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