22 Mar

Understanding Home Energy Audits

A Home Energy Audit tells you where the energy is being lost in your house. A home energy auditor looks at how the systems in your house are working and gives your house a number similar to a what RESNET rater or a BPI rater would provide. The home energy auditor then makes a determination based on how your systems are working (as a whole) in your house as to what the most cost effective measures are to make your house affordable, comfortable and energy efficient.

energy AuditA Home Energy Audit includes using diagnostic equipment such as a blower door, a volometer, a manometer, a combustion analyzer and an infrared camera to test:

  1. The location and number of air leaks in your house (the envelope)
  2. The leaks in your heating and air conditioning duct work
  3. How effective the insulation is inside your walls and ceilings
  4. Any combustion safety issues or potential safety issues in your house

How much do home energy audits cost? The average estimate and report cost to the homeowner is anywhere from $300 to $750 but sometimes you can find free or almost free energy audits through NYSERDA or your electric provider (in our case its NYSEG).

New York State is considering making a home energy audit conducted by a rater to give an apples-to-apples measurement of how leaky a house is a requirement for all future house sales. Tompkins County is conducting a related study.  In this way all home purchasers will be able to compare the houses they are looking to purchase to find the houses that are the most energy efficient and the ones that are not.

For the houses that are leaky or need weatherization then the home energy auditor will make a recommendation in a report to the purchaser or homeowner as to what needs to be done to make your house affordable, comfortable and energy efficient.

Still have questions? Contact me or schedule your home energy audit now!

Dr. Spray Foam (Mark Gugino)

20 Aug

Weatherize with Attic Air Sealing

Why is Attic Air Sealing a good thing to do to weatherize your house? Because the attic floor acts as a top to the box you have hopefully already sealed up from air leaks from the outside. What you’re trying to do here is the envelope theory of air sealing by creating a box.

Air SealingThe attic is the lid to that box and is the top of the box so its important to seal the top of the box because you do not want the heat to escape from the box (which is your house). Before you air seal your top to the box you first want to get a contractor, like Act Green Spray Foam, to correct these problems:

  1. Replace wet or damp insulation from a leaky roof (fix roof)
  2. Replace moldy or rotted attic rafters or floor joists indicating attic moisture problems
  3. Fix kitchen, bathroom or clothes dryer vents that either exhaust moisture into the house or attic
  4. Ice dams in the attic (an indication of serious air leaks)
  5. Little or no attic Insulation on the floor
  6. Knob and tube wiring
  7. Unsealed and uninsulated can lights in the attic space

A good way to start attic air sealing is to draw a map of the areas of the top floor where air might leak into the attic. Make a note of dropped soffits over kitchen cabinets or bath vanities, slanted ceilings over stairways where the walls and exterior of the house meet, and any other dropped ceiling area or overhangs from the house.

When air sealing you always plug the big holes first by either creating stuffed bags, plugging open stud cavities, covering dropped soffits or sealing behind knee walls. After we complete this we start sealing the air leaks, which can be done a number of ways – including spray foam. Every opening will contribute to a waste of your energy so we must be thorough when we air seal and do the job completely because any air movement is air leakeage and means a cold box (the house).

If your attic leaks and you want it sealed up by an expert please just call us!

Dr. Sprayfoam (Mark Gugino)

29 May

Press Release: Municipalities Launch Residential Energy Score Project

Five Tompkins County municipalities are working together to develop a plan for scoring the energy performance of local homes. The goal: to use market forces to improve the energy efficiency of existing housing stock by providing meaningful home performance information to future home buyers.

Read More: http://psdconsulting.com/municipalities-launch-residential-energy-score-project/