June 10, 2009

Home Energy Cost Cutting Project : Air seal & Duct seal testing

Previously I laid out my plan to improve our homes heating energy usage. Last time I reported how the initial home energy audit went.

The latest step in the project was completed this week. We had an independent tester come to the home and test the air seal and duct seal. They found all the points in the home that had air leaks and measured the overall air tightness of the home. They used a big blower that fit in the door and then pulled air through the home to find the drafts. This data helps them figure out exactly what needs to be fixed in the home. The testing cost us a little over $100.

They had several recommendations, in priority first work they could do:
Air sealing
Duct sealing
Insulate attic to R39
Insulate ducts
Insulate floor to R30
Fix vents
Other recommended work:
Put an insulating blanket around water heater
Potentially get a heat pump

They also gave us an estimate on getting all the air sealing, duct sealing and insulating done as well as fixing our vents. The total estimate came to about $6000 and we'd be eligible for rebates and tax credits totaling about half of that, leaving us with a total out of pocket cost of around $3000.

Next step will be to get a couple more quotes on the insulation work and see what the range of figures we get are.

The first energy review and the full testing we did this week agreed on what should be done to the home. At this point getting all the recommended work done seems like a good idea. Air sealing, duct sealing, insulating attic, insulating ducts, insulating floor and installing a heat pump are all recommended improvements that should reduce our heating costs.

Basically what remains to be done at this point:
Get quotes for the work
Decide how much we want to spend
Get the work done

Next step will be to get more quotes on the insulation work.

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