Common House Problems

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.

Drafty Rooms

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.

Cold Floors

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.

Damp Base­ment

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

Inef­fi­cient lighting

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.