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Need Help? Good News for Those who Qualify!

Winters in Pennsylvania can be tough!  Perhaps your home is in need of weatherization but you never seem to have the extra cash to get the job done?  Here is some great news!  

The PA Housing Finance Agency is now offering homeowners loans to make energy efficient improvements!  The loans can help you pay for work such as:

Air sealing, insulation and ductwork

Energy-efficient windows and doors

Energy-efficient heating or cooling system repairs or replacements

Roof replacements

You can find more information about this program at http://www.phfa.org/programs/repairs.aspx.  

Video: Choosing Energy Efficient Lighting Based on Lumens.

Posted in: video

If you're interested in reducing your energy consumption by switching to energy efficient lighting, but aren't quite sure how to pick the right energy efficient lighting for your fixtures or your home, watch this short video from the Department of Energy explaining how to choose lighting based on lumens instead of watts.

Energy Efficient Landscaping for Cooling Down.

On cold winter days, a ray of sun streaming into your house can be most welcome - a free source of heat. But what about in the summer, when those rays of sun and other, less-evident solar heat, seep into our already too-hot houses and become a costly nuisance? Well, what happens is that you lose money. But using landscaping (namely by planting trees) to shade your home can be a great way to lower energy costs.

Video: Energy Efficiency in 90 Seconds.

Posted in: video

This clever video from the Natural Resources Defense Council explains how energy efficiency in the home can help save the planet, while saving homeowners money in the process.

The Creepy Crawly Spaces Where We Work

There are areas of your house where you probably do not care to spend a lot of time - namely your basement or crawl space!  This house had a little of both, and we had a crew that wasn't afraid to get down and dirty to make improvements.  

The Job:

Spray Foam Rim Joist in Basement and Add Insulation to Ceiling

Spray Foam Rim Joist in Crawl space, Add Insulation to Ceiling, Staple Typar to Air Seal, Install Vapor Barrier for Moisture Protection

The basement was the simple part.  It was an area of limited square footage but lots of space to stand and work.  Here are the before and after shots:

The Invisible Difference

I once again had the pleasure of going out with our crew this week.  The job is a 1940 built lake house.  The customer had recently bought this home and called us because he suspected that it was under insulated.  Oh man, was he right!  As it turned out, we discovered that there was no insulation in the exterior walls!  The attic only had an R-value of 19, which is much less than the recommended R-38.  I suppose when the house was built it was a summer home and insulation was not a concern at the time.  The good news is, we can remedy it and make the house liveable year round.  

Is Your Unconditioned Basement Properly Separated From Your Living Space?

Consider this an extension of my post from earlier this week.  Same job, same home.  We addressed the ventilation so we could air seal and insulate.  The same day, we also addressed the basement.  I don't have a picture of the finished product here, but we did replace some insulation that was in pretty bad shape.

We also covered the basement window with rigid foam and sealed the edges with spray foam.  This seals the window so that colder air does not infiltrate into the basement.  Action shot!

Is Your Insulation Contractor Health and Safety Conscious?

This might not be a question that you naturally think to ask when thinking about adding insulation to your attic.  The assumption might be - "Wouldn't any contractor naturally be thinking of my health and safety?"  And while we sincerely hope that to be true of any contractor, we can only speak for ourselves!  What are some of the things we do to ensure not only your safety, but the safety of our crew? 

Video: What is a Home Energy Assessment?

Good synopsis of what to expect during a home energy assessment.

What Do We Do, Anyway?

Well, in short we are auditors and installers that are BPI Certified.  This means that we are committed to treating your WHOLE HOUSE.  Building Science is a field that encourages us to look at your house as a living, breathing entity whose parts all interact with one another - because they do!  You might call us because you feel your electric bill is too high, or you think you need more insulation, or because there are drafty places in your home - and then our job is to see what factors are working together to contribute to your problem and what steps can be taken to correct them.

I encourage you to take a look at the case studies on BPI's website here:  http://www.bpihomeowner.org/case-study/temperature-swings-los-angeles