Information and solutions for a safe, healthy,
comfortable, durable and energy efficient home

Energy Professional or Marriage Counselor?

Cindy and Joe needed help with the “friendly disagreement” they were having. For the first three years in their new home they couldn’t sit next to the fireplace - even while a fire was burning.  The floor and walls were always miserably cold. Cindy proposed one solution – maybe the floor under the fireplace or surrounding walls needed insulation. Joe proposed another- perhaps the fireplace was installed incorrectly and needed replacing.  Since neither really knew the answer and both ideas would cost money and be disruptive, they circled around the problem, debated their ideas and lived with the discomfort for three years. During the fourth winter, pipes froze leading up to the kids’ bathroom. Thankfully the pipes did not burst, but the scare moved Cindy and Joe to action.

They enlisted the help of an energy professional. Five minutes after he set up the blower door test and fired up the infrared camera, the problem was discovered. Two stud bays in an exterior wall adjacent to the fireplace were completely lacking insulation. The cold filling the bays was making the floor by the fireplace unbearable and caused the pipes to freeze in a nearby stud bay. Significant air leaks were found throughout the home at window and door openings, recessed ceiling lights, basement rim joist, and around electrical outlets. The pro also tested their home for carbon monoxide pollution (which was negative) and presented Cindy and Joe with a 48 hour radon test kit to complete on their own (results showed very low levels).

Cindy and Joe used the energy pro’s recommendations and the infrared photographs provided by the pro to help their insulator target the specific problem areas with insulation and air sealing solutions. They are happy to report on the resulting comfort, peace of mind, and peace in their marriage – especially knowing the pipes won’t burst, they reduced energy waste, and 2 potential health hazards – radon and carbon monoxide – are not hazards in their home.  They both agreed that hiring an energy professional was well worth the money spent. Had they known how quickly they could have solved their problem they would have done it sooner.

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