More and more Northern Westchester homeowners are getting ready for the heating season by Energizing their homes.
Insulation and air sealing can go a long way to making your home much more comfortable, less drafty, and less costly to operate.
In a column a few weeks ago, we looked at the impact of the EnergizeNY program is having by using word-of-mouth to spread the energy and costs savings gospel.
The Bright Home team is shown here preparing to pump dense pack cellulose insulation into the exterior wall cavities to reduce air flow and heat loss. Bright Home is one of the area’s Building Performance Institute-certified contractors who are busy helping New Yorkers upgrade their homes to save energy and be more comfortable.
- Install dense pack cellulose insulation in the exterior walls. This type of insulation also acts as an air seal.
- Install air sealing and insulation in the attic, the rim joists in the basement, the overhang above the kitchen window, and in the knee wall access over the garage.
To tackle the exterior of the home, the contractor removed–and later replaced–one shingle every 16" per floor to gain access to the exterior sheathing of the home. They drilled–and later plugged–2" holes every 16" to gain access to the cavities inside of exterior wall. Other spaces could be reached from inside the home.
In addition to energy solutions for walls and attics, the BPI-certified contractors also assess health and safety solutions for venting. In addition, the contractor recommended the following low cost measures:
- Install a metal 4" rigid vent pipe exhausted to the exterior of the home with an air tight hood to keep air from entering the home when the dryer is not in use.
- Install a solar-powered, thermostatically controlled attic fan in the roof over the attic to properly vent the attic space according to building code.
- Install an inflatable and deflatable fireplace pillow to air seal the fireplace flue when not in use.
- Install digital/programmable thermostats per zone as decided upon with homeowner.
To ensure the new insulation and air sealing has been properly installed, the contractors in the EnergizeNY program conduct a second blower door test after their work is complete
For this home, the post-upgrade results are impressive!
The upgrade produced a 32% reduction in air flow–from 37.45 cubic feet per minute at the initial blower door test down to 25.40 cubic feet per minute at the post-upgrade final blower door test. In other words, 32% more warm air will stay inside in the home all winter long.
A big thanks to Herb and Sandy Oringel of Somers for sharing their Energize experience!
PS: The fireplace flue pillows–yes, that is what they are called!–are a great way to seal your chimney all winter on those days when you are not roasting chestnuts in your living room.