Welcome to episode #64 of “On the Job.” In this video, Larry Janesky, owner and founder of Dr. Energy Saver takes us to a home in Connecticut, where Dr. Energy Saver was called in right after the house was audited and sealed through a state sponsored energy conservation program. The purpose of this video is to show the differences between the work performed by these state-hired contractors and the work executed by Dr. Energy Saver technicians.
Many states offer similar energy conservation programs, where contractors are hired by the state to perform home energy audits and improve energy efficiency through air sealing and insulation procedures at little to no cost to the homeowner. The contractors will usually spend a few hours in the house, measure air leakage by performing a blower door test, air seal the most accessible leakages, and issue a report. The state will pay them based on the reported rate of air leakage reduction.
In most cases, no further test is ever performed, so it is quite common to find reports with overestimated reduction rates, as this particular case shows. When Dr. Energy Saver performed the blower door test, they found a much higher air leakage rate than the report stated.
In this episode of “On the Job,” Larry walks us through all the important and significant details that were overlooked by the program contractor, including things like bathroom and drier vents venting straight into the attic – where they not only create an energy problem but also a mold and moisture problem.
Other grossly overlooked details included poorly sealed and insulated ducts running through the attic, no air sealing around can lights, insufficient attic insulation, and many architectural features that demanded special attention in terms of air sealing and insulation.
While this specific attic was especially challenging due to the way it was built, the vast majority of homes have similar details that tend to be overlooked in state-sponsored programs because a thorough energy efficient retrofit can never be performed in a few hours. It usually takes days of hard work and attention to detail.
When homeowners call for an energy audit, they are usually trying to make their homes more comfortable, save money on utilities, or both. Unfortunately, in many cases, the state-sponsored work accomplishes neither because it is just not thorough enough. You are not paying for the audit or the work, but you will still be overpaying for heating and cooling, because the energy problem isn’t fixed.
By having a Dr. Energy Saver technician perform a thorough home energy audit and a complete home energy efficiency retrofit, you will be making a one-time investment on effective solutions that will pay for itself in energy savings alone in about 6 years, and after that you will still have extra money in your pocket for as long as your house stands – all while living in a comfortable, healthy and energy efficient home!