Air barrier is designed to prevent air infiltration which is a major cause of heat loss in a home. However, in cases where the barrier is damaged or improperly installed, air or wind can pass freely through the batt insulation and compromise the R-value.
Due to EnerGard's solid closed cell structure, air and wind cannot penetrate the solid polystyrene walls. EPS splines and engineered gaskets are used to interlock the keyed components, forming a nearly airtight system.
EnerGard® walls are sufficiently solid and add stiffness and strength to walls. Insulation in conventional walls tends to settle and can leave gaps at the top of the wall where significant thermal losses can occur. EngerGard® walls are rigid with solid poly which does not sag or settle within the walls. When an exterior wall is constructed, the areas not filled with insulation conduct heat and are called thermal bridges. The most common point which these thermal bridges occur is at the wood studs in conventional exterior walls. This is not a problem for the EnerGard® Wall System, as it reduces the problem of thermal bridging by sandwiching polystyrene between I-columns. Even lintels above openings are relatively warm as polystyrene is sandwiched between lintel beams.
Hollow wall construction has another major disadvantage when compared with EnerGard® solid walls. This is the condensation factor. Invariably the warm interior air finds its way into the hollow wall cavity. When exterior temperatures decline the moisture in the air condenses and settles in the batt insulation. This has two negative energy consequences. First, a wet batt is less effective as an insulator. Second, the weight of the moisture contributes to sagging of the insulation and this permanently reduces the thermal efficiency of the wall system.
There are more benefits to the EnerGard® wall system than just energy efficiency. The unique I-columns that support the system are based on the same principles as U-joists. They will not shrink, warp or twist, making nail pops a thing of the past.
The polystyrene insulation is completely non-allergenic, dust free, and will not allow moisture or insects to penetrate making an EnerGard® home significantly cleaner, quieter and more comfortable for the life of the home.