Friday, May 20, 2011

365/139 The red door

I was calling around for wall insulation quotes earlier this week and talked to the folks at GE Insulation. Not only do they do insulation, they are also authorized by Consumers Energy to do home energy audits.  They audit your house and then work with you to identify what types of projects to do to improve your house’s overall energy efficiency.  Consumers Energy offers cash rebates for certain types of activities (i.e. wall/ceiling insulation, HVAC upgrades, etc) which help to ease the burden of the investment.

For a gadget guy, it’s pretty cool stuff.  The red door is a blower door.  They hook it up, turn it on, and it sucks out all the air in your house.  You can check each room to see how much air leakage you have by leaving the door open just a crack.  You’ll feel the air rushing out over your hand toward the blower door.  More air is bad!!

05202011They also used the thermal imaging camera to examine the temperature difference between the inside and outside.  That’s not too much right now because of the mild weather but would be really useful in the heat of summer or the cold of winter.

We don’t have the final verdict on what projects we should do and the payback time for each but the top of the list will probably be our 1950’s boiler.  I calculated that we could probably save over $1000/year in natural gas by going to a 95% efficient boiler.  On top of that, Consumers will give us a $950 rebate for the upgrade and we could take a $150 tax credit on our federal taxes.  It won’t make it free but it will make that type of project pay off a lot sooner.

Give GE Insulation a call to see how you can help yourself to a more energy efficient home.

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