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Thread: Enery Audit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Enery Audit

    Hello-

    I recently had an energy audit done on my home. Its a 1550 sq ft, brick cape cod, built circa 1945 in a suburb of Buffalo, NY. I had a company come in and do a free energy audit. They've recommended super insulating the whole house. They want to fill my walls from the interior, put another 15" of insulation in my attic floor, air seal the basement, and insulate in a few other odd ball area that do not have any insulation currently.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has had it done before? The total project is going to come out to around $6300. Is it worth the money to have it done? They advised me against replacing my windows and told me I could just as easily caulk around them and get some weather stripping to help make them more energy efficient. They are the original wooden windows installed when the house was built (21 total). Is it best to get more than one price quote from this type of company?

    Any advise or experiences would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Enery Audit

    "free energy audit"

    The only way you will get an unbiased opinion is if you pay an independent company to conduct the audit. Not to say you do or don't need the recommendations, but did they do the following....

    Did they just do a walk through?

    Did they do thermal imaging?

    Did they do a Blower Door test?

    Did you get a written report?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Enery Audit

    LIHR-

    The company that came out was an independent company here in Buffalo. They did the thermal imaging scan on all the rooms, the blower test through the front door, and also e-mailed me a written report of what they proposed to do. My attic has the original insulation from the 1940s but only about 3-4" of it. So the thermal scan showed obviously that the ceiling was loosing a lot of heat in the upstairs. The studs showed to be the warmest part of the walls. They recommended a few things I could do with a little caulk and weather stripping around the doors and windows to seal up any air leaks.

    We also have an uninsulated knee wall that is losing a lot of heat from out master bedroom. We have no soffits on the house - so that coupled with the lack of insulation is creating gigantic ice dams on all sides of the house.

    I'm mostly curious if insulting the outer walls is really going to make much of a difference (save heating $$) on a brick home? Omitting that work would save me about 1/2 the money and a lot of mess and painting.

    The audit wasn't necessarily "free" as the company gets paid by the state of NY as part of the Green Jobs bill to do these audits. I had to request a reservation through the state to qualify for it to be "free" to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Enery Audit

    Howdy,
    Great news the free audit found something which will make your heating bills go down and comfort up... not enough attic insulation. So first get at least 3 bids for blown in additional cellulose and what blown-in fiberglass costs to bring the attic up to at least R48- but insulation is cheap and i would have it bid to to bring upto R60..... # bids so you can see what the job should cost and have them itemized the bid and ask if any additional attic venting is needed and again how much per each bid. No cellulose or fiberglass??? I like cellulose its advantageous over fiberglass: fire treated to retard burning, it greatly reduces any air infiltration, it is treated to resist insect and rodents. Fiberglass has none of these qualities and it takes 10 times less energy to make it too.
    Insulating a knee wall is a great idea too and again there are methods of using blown in or fiberglass bat i would install on these walls if access is available Rock Wool bat as it like cellulose has the advantages and if not access for bat then blown in cellulose.Yes the added insulation will be worth it and the reduction in you heating and cooling bills too for the rest of the life of the home. Now contact state see if any retrofitting insulation money available to offset the cost. Again 3 or more bids .. Happy days ahead....PS You can caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows far less$$$ then having it done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Enery Audit

    Quote Originally Posted by letsg0buffal0 View Post
    LIHR-

    The company that came out was an independent company here in Buffalo. They did the thermal imaging scan on all the rooms, the blower test through the front door, and also e-mailed me a written report of what they proposed to do. My attic has the original insulation from the 1940s but only about 3-4" of it. So the thermal scan showed obviously that the ceiling was loosing a lot of heat in the upstairs. The studs showed to be the warmest part of the walls. They recommended a few things I could do with a little caulk and weather stripping around the doors and windows to seal up any air leaks.

    We also have an uninsulated knee wall that is losing a lot of heat from out master bedroom. We have no soffits on the house - so that coupled with the lack of insulation is creating gigantic ice dams on all sides of the house.

    I'm mostly curious if insulting the outer walls is really going to make much of a difference (save heating $$) on a brick home? Omitting that work would save me about 1/2 the money and a lot of mess and painting.

    The audit wasn't necessarily "free" as the company gets paid by the state of NY as part of the Green Jobs bill to do these audits. I had to request a reservation through the state to qualify for it to be "free" to me.
    I would say insulating the walls are required -- I'm sure the audit ( infrared image ) proved this.
    Masonary walls like brick are heat sinks. Insulating those walls , preventing the heat sink , will greatly increase you comfort and save on heating/cooling energy costs.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Enery Audit

    Letsgobuffalo -- Also in upstate NY here (not as far up as you) and wondering if you have and would be willing to share the link to the NYS energy audit. I am so interested in that and could definitely use one. TIA -- Attie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Enery Audit

    adding insulation in the attic is a must based on what you sayed about only having 3-4" of the original insulation. this is only about r8-r12 rating, current codes require a minimum of r-40 with some regions now wanting r-50. this equals 12" so using blown in cellulose would be your easiest bet same for the walls. for them to drill the inside of the walls is alot less intrusive than going through the outside and destroying the brick.

    i find it shocking that they told you not to touch the original windows. windows from the 40's dont have double or even triple panes with not only a low e rating nor do they have argon gas in them. simply caulking them will only reduce drafts but it wont stop losing heat through the glass itself

    definitely get 3 quotes for insulators. i just had blown in insulation put in the walls at the house which i own with my brother, he called one insulating company which quoted $2000 where i had him call the insulator that my general contractor uses (im a licensed carpenter) a savings of $500 and our guy does great work, leaves the site clean too
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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