Energy Audits

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  #1  
Old 12-15-10, 07:40 PM
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Energy Audits

Are home energy audits worth the money? I called three companies in northern NJ and they charge about $350 - $400 for a full energy audit with a blower test, thermal scan, etc. I live in a home originally built in the 1950s with a 2nd level addition 6 years ago. I have lived there for 4 years. Here are my problems:

- My hardwood floors on my 1st floor feel cold. I have an unfinished crawl / basement with no insuluation in between the beams.
- 2 rooms on my 1st floor feel colder because it is above our garage which is cold.
- All the lights in my house have those recessed cans that have those drafts and you cannot put insulation near them.
- I have an attic over the 2nd floor that is accessible. The attic over the 1st floor in the split area is not accessible. So, constant drafts through the light fixture.
- My master BR on the 2nd floor is a cathedral where they did not put insulation in all areas of the ceiling. I dont know why. Plus, they canned lights with drafts.
- My master BR has a single pane triangle window on the high side of the wall since it is a cathedral which develops frost and condensation in the cold night. All I have done is place that window film over it as another barrier. I got a $1,500 quote for a new triangular window.

All I need are economic solutions that will not break my wallet. Does anybody have any affordable solutions for my issues above or do I need to get an energy audit? Thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-15-10, 08:04 PM
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  #3  
Old 12-15-10, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyBoy View Post
Does anybody have any affordable solutions for my issues above or do I need to get an energy audit? Thank you!

Move....................................................................................................
 
  #4  
Old 12-15-10, 09:29 PM
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Seams like you know what the issues or. So I would start by working on those
 
  #5  
Old 12-16-10, 10:31 AM
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Hi Mikey, an audit is a great place to start, however, you need the budget to back up the results. From your description I see some reasonable size projects.

What an audit could do for you is identify the best places to start and give you an overall picture of your heat loss. If you want to DIY most of the work, you can locate one of the on-line energy programs that will give you an idea as to where your dollars are going. In most cases, the first place to start is to understand air leakage. You should do all of the air sealing before you bury the house in insulation.

here is an energy Vermont link that will detail a lot of the problem areas:
http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf

Bud
 
  #6  
Old 12-16-10, 03:46 PM
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Fix the stuff you know about before you shell out money for an energy audit. You can replace the leaky recessed cans, add insulation etc and then see where you stand. If you still have energy concerns after addressing the stuff you are aware of, that would be the time for an audit.
 
  #7  
Old 12-16-10, 07:18 PM
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- All the recessed cans in the house are new but they are non-ic. Is that something I should replace? How much ceiling damage will there be to replace existing recessed lighting?

- Since the large traingular window in our master BR is only single pane, is spending $1,500 the solution for dual-pane?

- Since I know there is no insulation underneath the 1st floor beams, is putting insulation the solution? What kind of insulation do you recommend?

- My garage has sheatrock walls and ceilings and I am not sure if there is any insulation in the ceilings. Will blown insulation in the garage ceiling really keep the rooms above the garage warm?
 
  #8  
Old 01-05-11, 09:41 PM
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I just got back the results from my WellHome energy audit and here are the recommendations:

- Air tightening in the attic and basement ($963)
- My current attic has R-25 insulation and recommends an additional R-24 blow-in insulation. ($575)
- Air seal and insulate exposed rim joists in basement with 2" foam board and R-19 fiberglass insulation. ($525)
- Caulk all window and door trims (DIY)

The audit did not recommend changing my non-IC lights since I already put air-tite trims on it. The audit did not recommend replacing my two single pane larger windows since I already put a window film around it.

The auditor said that the above recommendations will not solve all my problems but will significantly help resolve the cold drafts.

Do the experts agree with the recommendations?
Will air tightening and air sealing really make a big difference?
Will adding another R-24 of attic insulation keep the warm air in the house?
Is it worth the @ $2,000 price for them to perform the fixes above?
 
  #9  
Old 01-05-11, 09:50 PM
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$2000 X saving $200 a yr( at best) = 10 yrs = how old are you does it make sense?????

LOL sorry about the post...

Mike NJ
 
  #10  
Old 01-05-11, 09:56 PM
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The report shows a $45/month savings or $540/yr so it should be paid off in about 4 years. Since this is my first ever energy audit, I dont know how much I should believe in their calculations. I did give them a years worth of electric and oil bills.
 
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Old 01-05-11, 10:08 PM
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For the prices they give I think it can be done cheaper.......................

I just say do the math and do they give a garantee?????

State run programs they have to use the funds.

Mike NJ
 
  #12  
Old 01-05-11, 10:25 PM
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What kind of companies do I search for who can do jobs like this?
 
  #13  
Old 01-06-11, 03:00 AM
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MB, I don't see an energy audit?? Did they do a blower door test? What was their number?
Did they use an infrared camera?

Bud
 
  #14  
Old 01-06-11, 06:59 AM
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Wellhome is the company. They did a full inspection in basement, attic, blower door test, infrared camera. The test took over 4 hours.
 
  #15  
Old 01-06-11, 10:27 AM
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Ok, now the question is, did they give you all of the audit they performed or just the conclusions with their prices? One of the primary purposes of an energy audit is to establish the "before" condition of your house, blower door leakage number, target number, IR pictures to be able to confirm improvements, and such. When you ask us for a professional opinion of what they are recommending, we kind of need all of the numbers, just like they had.

Bud
 
  #16  
Old 01-12-11, 03:36 PM
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They gave me a about a 15 page report that included results of the blower door test. I have a few questions:

- One of my issues is a cold room above my garage. My garage door has slight gaps on the side and top causing cold air to come in making the garage cold and room above cold. Instead of blowing more insulation in the garage ceiling, would it be better to replace the garage door with an insulated one? Would this give me better results?

- My basement is unfinished with part-basement and part-crawl. I have no insulation across the beams and in the rim joists. Is insulating the rim joists enough or is putting insulation across the beams in the basement necessary too?

- Since I have a crawl space and there is no insulation that separates the basement and 1st floor, does that cause air to be sucked out faster through the 2nd floor since air is leaking out through the 2nd floor non-IC lights?

- Can someone send me a link where I can buy a cover for non-IC light fixtures that I can put in the attic so air does not leak out?

Thank you!
 
  #17  
Old 01-20-11, 10:59 AM
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Are energy assessments worth the money?

Energy assessments are wonderful tools for helping consumers cut down on energy consumption and, in return, energy costs. Not only that, but identifying appliances that may be producing too much carbon monoxide (which can result in sickness or even death) is very important.

In Kentucky, there are organizations offering rebates up to $2000 for having your home assessed and retrofitted. Some organizations even offer $150 rebate for the actual energy assessment. There are also un-secured, low interest loans available up to $20,000. Contact your local community action agencies for more information on what is available in your area.

Once you have received your assessment, there may be items on the list of recommendations that you can do yourself (caulking, for example). However, your energy assessment professional should be able to direct you to an approved BPI contractor to bid the job and perform the work. In Kentucky, the annual estimated and approximate savings is 20%...and this is without replacing the windows. Window replacement will never pay for itself, at least under most circumstances. That's why air sealing and insulation is most commonly recommended. Both are cost effective and help save energy. Plus, neither are very invasive or time-consuming for professional installers. The basic idea is to tighten up the home by using cost-effective measures...those that pay for themselves within 8-10 years or less.

The agencies in Kentucky promoting energy savings also include a test-out that is performed by someone other than the person who did the test-in. This helps assure that the required work is completed properly and it makes note of any and all recommended work that has been completed.

Overall, having an energy assessment conducted on your home is a great idea, especially if you can take advantage of rebates and un-secured loans. You can save money in the long run whithout compromising safety and comfort.
 
  #18  
Old 07-11-11, 10:44 AM
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i cant tell you the real savings but i CAN tell you when i added insulation to my attic, there was an immediate warmup in the rooms below when i went in them. I forget what the starting value is but i had loose fill under an attic floor then the pink stuff only to the top of the 10 inch joists where it was open. I filled under the floor as best i could and then on the open part of the attic i built up to about an R60. the bags of stuff were only 11 bucks each so i figured why not go big and do it once. you must have a smaller attic than me because your costs to do the attic by the pro was less than the cost of my bales alone. but if you can swing it yourself, rent the machine at lowes and blow in the attic. you wont regret it

i sure hope they did the camera because my guy didnt and i wish he did for my 400 bucks.
 
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