Monday, July 5, 2010

Conflicted Test, Badly-Served Customer

My job now in need of reporting was put off by the customer for more than a year. The customer was inspired by awareness of energy waste in a newly-acquired home, and the well-meant marketing efforts of the local purveyor of Public Purpose Funds, to accomplish an extraordinarily difficult job of house weatherization, beginning in the attic. The year of delay was in finding someone willing and able, to do the work. The immediate actions in an energy audit and home performance test ended with recommendation that nothing was needed beyond gooping and wrapping the HVAC supply ducts in the attic.

All needed work was obstructed by knee wall braces, nearly-complete nailed-down 1x8 ship lap flooring, and the trampled in-the-way wrapped HVAC supply ducts. This duct branch was directly over the best location of a new attic ladder, and much-better access was mandatory.

I found extraordinary savings to be achieved in this 1400 sf one-story home. Savings through my labor and placement of materials include reduction of conduction/ convection heat loss cost, of about $950 per year. $550 per year of this is due to closure of an extraordinary distribution of attic floor pits. $400 per year is due to the addition of insulation, from R4 to R38. There are further but much-smaller and indeterminate savings, from reduced house air infiltration. The dollar numbers, at $2 per therm, are large vs actual gas bills. They believably correspond to a modest one-third reduction of natural gas consumption, with a 1.6 ton per year reduction of CO2 conversion. 

I have complained against the no-bid presented with the "confidential" home performance test. At this Picasa Web Albums page, I disclose the report scanned for me, by the customer.

The customer paid $209 for perhaps two sets of blower door and duct blaster tests in a part-day of service where ducts in the attic were gooped, and were wrapped with 24" x 48" patches of unfaced R11 batt fiberglass. A $35 rebate is offered for just one blower door test per residence, I thought. Two seem to have been claimed, although the report does not have a second set of numbers.

I did very thorough sealing of the attic floor, as reported at my web site.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Home Performance Testing is Classified!

I am shocked to find that Home Performance test reports by another contractor are indeed classified, and will not be shared unless volunteered by the customer. What is classified? I can see owner names, accurate house photos, and sale price and tax histories, on the internet. A local newspaper rats on water wasters. I think maybe the Google Street View scans should include infrared, as another tool in weatherization management!

I called my rebate organization here, as follow-up of a completed job, where the work was too difficult, and not likely profitable, and was declined as unnecessary, by a big-league contractor. My rebate organization at first denied testing had been done. Then they refused to share results.