last week, the letter informing us of our gov’t stimulus check came in the mail. armed with that and a long-time desire to have our house blown, we decided to call an energy auditor. in comes energy saving comfort systems with their blower door, smoke, headlamps, and tubes to help us learn how to seal the envelop.
first step was a walk thru of the house and a look at some of the obvious culprits: old, leaky windows and doors (our windows are those with the pulleys and weights in the frames) and old, inefficient furnace. next, they turned on the blower door to de-pressurize the house. this allows them to feel along the seems for any drafts. a few surprises that wouldn’t have been found otherwise include major gaps in our basement between the sill and the floor joists. this is actually a fairly easy and inexpensive fix…basically go a little crazy with some foam insulation along those cracks and that area should be sealed. other areas to seal include our fireplace (currently there is a gas set up in the fireplace–nice to look at, but not very efficient for heating the house), our attic, and our doors. another recommendation is insulating the walls. they also suggested replacing the furnace in conjunction with a heat pump.
overall, we’re pleased with the audit and what it revealed. it should help us determine where to invest money that will have the greatest impact on our energy savings and shortest payback period.