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!
Responsible House is a building science expert with many years of general contracting experience. We can crush your high heating costs with professional air sealing and insulation services that stop energy loss and save you money! Our contracting experience allows us to take on complex projects that have construction components—jobs most insulation contractors can’t handle. With Responsible House, you get high-quality work done by true professionals who care about your home.
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 mEvery 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……
Tired of high heating costs? Responsible House can help! Call 540-942-2061 or contact us to learn more.
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