How Does John Wesley Miller Companies Build with Thermal Mass?
Our floors are built with 12" thick concrete and our exterior walls are masonry block filled with concrete. The exterior is wrapped with a 1.5" - 2" layer of polyisocyanurate insulation. This is covered with a 3 coat stucco system, then the stucco is painted. Inside, the masonry walls are covered with a thin coat of plaster to give a finish that matches the finish on the non-masonry walls. We recommend tile or stained concrete floors to minimize barriers to the exchange of heat between the floors and the rooms. Programmable thermostats are standard.
Why Use Thermal Mass?
Thermal Mass is the most effective way to stabilize interior temperatures and maximize energy efficiency. By using a programmable thermostat, in summer the homeowner can pre-cool the thermal mass of the walls and floors during off-peak hours at night. As the temperatures increase during the day, the cool thermal mass will absorb the heat, keeping the indoor air temperature stable. During the winter season the system works in reverse. As the daytime temperatures increase, the walls and floor absorb the heat and as the temperature drops at night, the heat from the thermal mass is released into the air.
In addition to increasing the comfort of the occupants, the homeowner can take advantage of time-of-use utility rates to minimize the cost of air conditioning. The utility company and the environment also benefit because shifting power use to off-peak hours reduces the need to power up additional plants which are less efficient and more costly to operate.