2016 Energy Code Changes: Attic and HVAC Requirements

One of the main purposes of the 2016 energy code is to cut down on the amount of energy that home owners use on a regular basis. One of the most effective ways to do this is to rethink the way that you are using your HVAC system at home – from top to bottom. That’s why the 2016 energy code includes some very specific guidelines for attic and HVAC requirements in homes, and offers homeowners three distinct options for creating a high-efficiency home. Energy Code Ace, a program of the California Public Utilities Commission, outlines these guidelines in a recent fact sheet.

Energy CodesThe first option allows for the ducts and air handler of your home’s HVAC system to be located in the attic. With this option, an attic radiant barrier must be installed in the attic using R-38 insulation in the ceiling. You also have to have continuous roof deck insulation in your attic space, with the option to use R-6-rated material if there is air space above the insulation and R-8 if there is no space.

The second option also allows ducts and the air handler to be situated in the attic with the installation of a radiant barrier and R-38 insulation. The difference here, though, is that below-roof deck insulation must be used at the rafters, with R-13 insulation if there is air space above or R-18 if there is not.

The third and final option calls for the ducts and air handler of your home HVAC to be located in a conditioned space. This option also calls for the installation of an attic radiant barrier and R-38 insulation in ceilings.

Some of these requirements vary depending on the location of your home within the 16 different defined climate zones in California. Learn what your climate zone is by taking a look at the maps provided by the California Energy Commission.

Rick’s Energy Solutions specializes in helping homeowners, designers and contractors make their homes more energy efficient and can help you bring your home into compliance with the 2016 energy code requirements. Our employees are well versed in energy code and can help explain it to you. Reach out to us at 707-578-5380 today and learn more about our green home services.