Do you have rooms that are hot or cold? Do you wear extra clothes, pull the curtains closed, or close doors to avoid high energy bills? Are there damp and musty smells or signs of mildew in your home? These are common problems of poorly insulated and older homes, but you don’t have to live with the discomfort any longer- HealthyHomes4U is here to help!
Maintaining a comfortable and healthy home may be more affordable than you think. With Energy Upgrade California Rebate program and other local incentives we can help you apply for thousands of dollars in rebates! Proven insulation and air sealing techniques can significantly improve the efficiency and comfort of your home and can save you hundreds on utilities each month!
Here is a list of common problems that you might be experiencing:
High energy bills
Heating and cooling typically account for 40% to 60% of the utility costs of a home. High utility bills in summer and winter months are often linked to air leaks hidden in the walls and attic, insufficient insulation, and duct work that leaks and lacks sufficient insulation. Heating and cooling systems and windows performing poorly also contribute. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, just 20% of homes constructed prior to 1980 have sufficient insulation and air sealing measures. Fortunately, savings of 25–40% have been consistently demonstrated using proven air sealing and weatherization strategies.
Cold air passing through hidden leaks in the walls, openings in the ceiling, and gaps around windows and along the foundation create the sensation of air movement in a room.
Tile and hardwood floors, among others, will naturally feel cold to bare feet. However, common air leaks through the walls and insufficient insulation can make floors cooler than necessary.
Rooms that are too hot/cold
Several factors can cause significant temperature differences from one room to the next. Insufficient insulation, air leaks, poor duct work performance, and improperly sized and installed heating and cooling systems.
Musty odors, mildew, mold
High indoor humidity levels can lead to fungus growth like mold and mildew. Fungi can cause a variety of health problems, wood rot, and peeling paint. Improperly sized central air-conditioners, poor ventilation, and lifestyle can all contribute to high humidity.
Water vapor migrates through most concrete and stone foundation walls. If the moisture is allowed to accumulate and increase indoor humidity levels, mildew and mold growth are likely.
Moisture on Windows
High indoor humidity and poor window performance can result in condensation or frost on the interior of window glass and frames.
Dust and airborne irritants
Air leaks can pull dust, allergens, and chemicals present outside into the conditioned air you breath. High humidity levels promote mold growth and encourage microscopic organisms like dust mites.
Discolored and peeling paint
Moisture problems within a wall structure can cause paint on exterior surfaces to fail prematurely. Blotchy stains and peeling can be a symptom of serious humidity and moisture issues.
Old and inefficient appliances
There is hope!
HOW WE FIX IT:
HealthyHomes4U can help you fix all of these common problems and more! Some problems are more complex than others and require specialized equipment to estimate how much energy your home is losing. Which is why we offer three levels of consultation and testing to suit your homes efficiency upgrading needs.
1. Our first round of testing is a free over the phone consultation. You can tell us all about your homes energy problems, usage and any goals you might have towards becoming more efficient. In turn we will offer suggestions that you may be able to put in place yourself. We can also make larger more in-depth recommendations for upgrades that will be suited for your home and budget parameters. We can give you a basic quote on popular energy saving upgrades if you would like one.
2. If you would like to get a more thorough overview of your home we will send a BPI (Building Performance Institute) certified Analyst to your house to inspect your home for possible energy problems. They will do a combustion safety test and perform a basic energy audit both visually and with an infrared thermal camera. The infrared camera will allow them to find any major leaks in your duct system, doors and windows and allow you to actually see where you home is losing efficiency. During the inspection our analyst will point out any inefficient products, lighting or machines that could be guzzling electricity or anything else we see that can easily help to lower your utilities. The Analyst will record their data during testing and will make recommendations in a written report with solutions to make your home more energy efficient.
3. The third level of testing is a Home Energy Audit. this is the test, a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) test is performed by a CalCerts certified Whole House Rater. The HERS rating system is very comprehensive, the results of the test will be recorded with a CEC (California Energy Commission) HERS index number. So that if that homeowner decides to pursue additional financing and rebate options they will have the certified number to compare to the new number at exit test, this will show the level of energy improvement the home has increased during the upgrade process. You will need to have this test if you are interested in pursuing rebates from the Upgrade Energy California program.
This test is extremely comprehensive and requires: one year worth of energy bills (gas and electric) and the collection of data regarding your homes energy characteristics, window types, sizes, orientations and effects of shading on them, existing insulation values and effectiveness, how much air infiltration your house has, types and numbers of lighting fixtures, structural sections of walls, floors and ceilings, types and efficiency of heating and air conditioning’s system including the existing duct leakage if you do not have asbestos in your ducts, the volume of home and orientation to the sun in your climate zone. All of this information is entered into the CED approved energy modeling program called Energypro. Energypro will compute your homes energy efficiency by simulating the affects of running the sun around the model of your home in its climate zone location and orientation to the sun 365 times based on historic weather data for your location. The program will then give a quantitative report of the areas of your home where you can save energy and money on utilities.
The results are listed individually by task and we will assign a cost estimate to each task so you can compare the cost of the product and instillation vs. how much energy and utility cost you will save on your bills over the next year or however long you live in your home. Most of our improvements will pay for themselves over the next one to three years, but of course you will have the ultimate decision on what is most important to you and your budget. Once you have decided on these factors, HealthyHomes4U will formulate the best plan to “squeeze the most Green out of every dollar” for your home’s green makeover.