Videos

Condominum Energy Upgrade to Lower Heating Bills


Larry Janesky from Dr. Energy Saver walks us through energy upgrades in the attic and basement of a condominium unit, improving its efficiency and comfort levels.


Air Sealing The Attic

Air Sealing The Attic

There is some electric heat in this unit and so we want to make it as efficient as possible so what we're going to do is air seal the attic to prevent warm air from being lost into the attic environment and then add insulation in the attic and we're going to blow in additional insulation on top of the insulation that they have once we air seal the attic.


Air Sealing And Additional Insulation

After air sealing then we can add additional insulation

One thing we have to do is build a little dam around this scuttle hole so that the insulation can get deep enough without falling down the hole when somebody goes to move the hatch to the side. Working in attics is no fun.


An Attic With No Insulation

Injection Foam Stops All Air Leaks

We applied foamed all around the electric outlets so that I don't make a mess. Open it up all the way to the ceiling. Usually we pump the foam into the walls from the outside but this house was stuck up and this is the foundation wall here so we couldn't go through the foundation wall.


SuperAttic´┐Ż Can Save You Money and Make Your House Comfortable

The SaniDry basement air system is the answer

The SaniDry is located in here and the intake air comes from here from a grill in the stairwell, comes into the top of the unit, the air is filtered, completely dried, and blown out of this hose through this duct in this wall and then we're going to install some transfer grills to get the air to the other rooms.


Read Full Video Transcript Below:

Larry Janesky: Hi, I'm Larry Janesky from Dr. Energy Saver. Today we're at this condominium unit, the homeowner would like to be more comfortable and make it more energy efficient, save money on their heating bills. There is some electric heat in this unit and so we want to make it as efficient as possible so what we're going to do is air seal the attic to prevent warm air from being lost into the attic environment and then add insulation in the attic and we're going to blow in additional insulation on top of the insulation that they have once we air seal the attic. And then in the basement which is fully finished we're going to insulate between the existing finished basement walls and the foundation walls and side wall with foam insulation to add R-value there. And the basement has electric heat and the homeowner was concerned about the basement being too cold.

Let's take a look. Now the attic is through a scuttle hole in this closet and I'm going to get up there and dig through the existing insulation, find all the air leaks, and seal them with one part foam and then put the insulation back and add to the insulation that's there with additional blown-in fiberglass to add to the R-value. One thing we have to do is build a little dam around this scuttle hole so that the insulation can get deep enough without falling down the hole when somebody goes to move the hatch to the side. Working in attics is no fun. We have to move the insulation aside and it's often very dry, what we call friable fiberglass insulation. As soon as you touch it fiberglass fibers are in the air, it's an unfriendly place to be when you're trying not to fall through the ceiling. Nevertheless we have to find all the air leaks, pipes and wire openings at the top of walls where dry wall meets the top plates of the walls, around chimneys and around bathroom fans, and we have to seal all that so no air can get from the house that the homeowner paid to heat into the attic where it's lost.

Once the attic is air sealed then we can add additional insulation. In this case we're using fiberglass but we could use cellulose either way. Here we are in the basement and the homeowner's doing a bit of remodeling here. And so what we're going to do is insulate this wall and this wall. There's a concrete foundation behind here and a frame wall behind here and we're going to drill holes in the wall and inject foam. Its injection foam, it's like the consistency of shaving cream, and it's going to fill the base in this wall and fill the space between this dry wall and the foundation wall. So it's an interesting application but it's going to really make this wall very tight, very warm. I foamed all around the electric outlets so that I don't make a mess. Open it up all the way to the ceiling. Usually we pump the foam into the walls from the outside but this house was stuck up and this is the foundation wall here so we couldn't go through the foundation wall. So we drove holes in the dry wall, patch them with one-coated tape, and these walls are full of foam. It's amazing how much foam goes into a wall that's already insulated.

Every basement like this one is humid in the summer time causing mold to grow and odors. The SaniDry basement air system is the answer. It's a very high powered energy efficient dehumidifier that will remove up to 109 pints of water per day out of the air. The beautiful thing about the SaniDry is that its ductable, in other words you don't have to locate it in the space that you want to dry. In this case this basement is pretty much completely finished and the homeowner wants to serve a closet and a main finished area with the SaniDry because there were signs of mold and odors in those rooms. But we don't want to take up valuable finished space so what we did was we tucked the SaniDry into this closet. The SaniDry is located in here and the intake air comes from here from a grill in the stairwell, comes into the top of the unit, the air is filtered, completely dried, and blown out of this hose through this duct in this wall and then we're going to install some transfer grills to get the air to the other rooms. All right, it's 5:30, we've insulated an air seal in the attic, and we've insulated the basement walls and installed the SaniDry dehumidification system. If you have some rooms that are a lot colder than the others in the winter or rooms that won't cool in the summer, if you'd like to make your home more energy efficient and lower your cost of homeownership by reducing your heating and cooling bills call Dr. Energy Saver.

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