We received a call from a nice couple who had just purchased a new home looking to receive an Energy Audit. Well, the home was new to them but had originally been built in 1882 and then renovated somewhere in between 2006-2010. With homes like these, it is harder to detect problems or get an idea of the exact condition the home is in. The new homeowners were very interested in learning about how they could make their home energy efficient and maximize their savings.
Steve Lindley, our head Comfort Consultant here at Indiana Home Comfort Solutions, sat down with the couple and went through the detailed report of the findings from the Energy Audit. The blower door and thermal imaging test revealed major air leakage in the second story floors at the front of the house. The heating and cooling system proved its age and needs to be replaced. It's an old electric unit, that works fine enough for now but will need to be updated and replaced with a more efficient gas unit. Additionally, the ductwork wasn't providing the home with the most efficient air flow. It hadn't been updated along with the various renovations that have taken place, causing it to work against the heating and cooling system versus with it.
The new homeowners were so pleased to get such an in-depth look at their home. This is stuff that people hardly pay attention to, so it is nice when we receive customers who are excited about the process. However, a main reason homeowners typically avoid a home's building-envelope is due to the cost. It can be quite expensive to fix all of these issues, especially since they have been avoided throughout most of the homes existence. Do-it-yourself renovations are always fun but end up costing homeowners a lot more money in the long run if they neglect to understand and learn their home's building-envelope.
Unfortunately, with the new purchase of the home, all of the repairs presented in the estimate were not able to fit into their budget. But on the bright side, they were very glad to learn what the home needs and can plan to add that into their budget as time goes on. In the meantime, Steve Lindley worked with the couple to prioritize their list of "projects". They determined that enough air was leaking through the floors in the front of the house for it to significantly effect their bills. Fixing this issue first would help reduce their bills and energy consumption, allowing them to save enough money to start the next project: replacing and updating the heating and cooling system and re-zoning the ductwork.
Robbie Hendricks, our certified Home Performance Head Installer, and his crew came out to work on this project. To start, they had to pull up the floors and start cutting under the bench seat to get a good look at what was going on. Once they got a good look, they went downstairs to start removing that part of the ceiling. Next step, was to seal and insulate the band board using 2-3" closed cell insulation. Check out our photos of the process! The new homeowners were very pleased with the results of their energy audit and installation!