High Heating Costs?

Holes and other energy loss can't hide from us. These pictures show some of the areas where you can expect to find energy loss. A more comfortable, energy-efficient home, with lower heating costs, is one call away.

We can fix that!
heat loss through the chimney
heat loss through the chimney

Dustin Howdyshell of Alliance Chimney Works, helped us resolve this client's heat loss problems. Turns out there were two flues leading to the same fireplace! The fireplace has a gas insert with a liner system that was correctly installed and sealed. The client, not knowing there were two flues attached to the same fireplace, had been heating his home with an open damper and uncapped chimney. Heat was just going out his chimney. Our 11-step energy audit helped put a stop to this heat loss.

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high energy bill
high energy bill

Have you seen an increase in your energy bill? Comparing last year's numbers to this year's, can give you insight into possible heat loss. We can help you reduce that loss, so that next year's numbers will be lower.

inefficient duct work
inefficient duct work

Inefficient duct work that takes the air you pay to condition (heated or cooled) through an unconditioned space causing your system to have to work harder to heat or cool your home - costing you more money.

air vent
air vent

Winter infrared image of a heating supply duct which shows cold outside air leaking into a nicely heated home. "Air leaks in the building envelope." Giving you more air to pay to heat up.

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What our clients and colleagues have to say:

"If you have a leaky house call them. They can cut your energy cost if you allow them to come and take a look at why your energy cost are so high. It pays for itself. Very professional also. Worth the call."

Steve R./Houzz.com review

"My electric bill is 50% less now, after Responsible House."

"Cut my bill in half."

"Best money ever spent."

 

Air Infiltration 

Every day you are paying to heat all of the air in the conditioned parts of your house (building envelope). Depending on the performance of your home, you may be paying to do that every few hours. When we complete a blower door analysis one of the things we learn is how many air exchanges per hour your building envelope has with the outside air. How many hours does it take for the entire air volume of your home to escape and be replaced with cold, unconditioned air? Sadly, what we see on average is every 2 or 3 hours. When we build a house, the answer is once every 24 to 40 hours.

How to Fix it

The conditioned air in your house, that you paid to heat up, is escaping through holes and gaps in your basement, attic, chimney, crawl spaces and from leaky vents and ducts. Locating your leaks occurs during our 11-step home energy audit. Once we've located the problems through discussions with the homeowner, extensive examination of the structure of the home and our diagnostic equipment, we complete a written analysis of your home's performance. This includes solutions we offer and the price point for each step. You are then able to hire us to implement all the fixes at once or spread them out over time. Now your money is going towards increasing the value of your home and not to the utility companies! 

Even if your ducts are perfectly sealed and not leaking any air, if they originate in an unconditioned space (a basement or attic that is not heated or cooled) that unconditioned air is cooling down the ducts, which cools down the air you just paid to heat up. Sometimes it is more efficient to heat more of your house, so that your ducts are only in conditioned spaces. This is a strange solution where heating more space costs less.

Why It's Not Your Windows

It has been widely advertised that the problem is your windows and doors, but that is almost never the case. The trouble with windows is two-fold. First of all, the cost of replacement windows is so high that it is difficult to see a return on your investment. This is not the lowest hanging fruit and is not where you can get the most bang for your buck. Secondly, even the most expensive, most insanely technical and energy efficient window out there is the equivalent of an R7. Let's talk about R-value (called U-value for windows - an inverse of R -, but that might be a bit too far down the rabbit hole); the simple answer is even the best windows will not perform significantly better than the ones you have. Ordinary windows are the equivalent of an R4. 

R-value is a measure of resistance to heat flow a material has based on its makeup and thickness. The temperature of your air (heat) is trying to leave your house and it will do it through your walls, doors and windows. The higher the R-value the more resistance the heat is meeting. We like to find the lowest hanging fruit - the holes in your home where there is no resistance and your money is just flying out the roof...or crawl space...or ducts...or chimney...or......