The owner of the beautiful 1821 Daniel Beard (“the Father of Scouting”) home in Covington, KY, has engaged our Home Performance Contracting Service to carry out a full workscope of energy efficiency improvements. Our Building Analyst, Dane Ervick, is busy overseeing and coordinating this multi-faceted project.
Last week, we were in the attic with our partners Insulating Sales and National Heating and Air working to bring it into conditioned space so that a new air handler could be installed. When work began, the attic was barely insulated:
Insulating Sales created a framed and insulated room so that the heating system won’t be fighting near-outdoor temperatures as it supplies heat to the rest of the home.
National Heating and Air insulated and sealed the new duct work and connected the air handler to an existing closed loop geothermal heating and cooling system.
The once uninsulated attic now features closed cell spray foam on the roof deck, fiberglass batts and rigid board insulation on the knee walls, and R-49 blown in cellulose on the attic plane behind the knee walls. These improvements will keep heat from escaping the home and make it easier for the air handler to operate. As always, we are installing all materials in compliance with manufacturer’s specifications and national fire codes.
Next up: Under the home in the crawl space!
1. Replace Furnace Air Filter
Make sure your furnace is ready to work! Start the cold season with a clean air filter and do the research about your system to find out how often your filters should be changed or cleaned to keep your furnace working efficiently and to maintain healthy indoor air quality. Now is also a good time to schedule furnace maintenance with your HVAC provider.
2. Clean, Re-Caulk, and Weatherize Windows
3. Check Roof for Leaks
It is a good idea to inspect your roof for critter or weather damage before we are left with short days and cold nights. Inspect for leaks inside. Outside, look for lifted shingles, wood chips, or shavings. If the damage is only shingle deep, all you need are some matching shingles and roofing nails to keep your house covered. If there is more extensive damage, call a professional.
4. Winterize Electrical Outlets
Electrical penetrations and outlets are often an avenue for air infiltration in the home, contributing to draftiness and energy waste. If you remove the faceplates of your outlets, especially of exterior walls, you can accomplish two things: check the integrity of the wiring (look for missing caps, blackened wires, and check the output with a handheld meter while you’re at it), and you can insulate and air seal the cavity with foam gaskets before replacing the faceplate. Don’t forget to shut off your electricity if you need to repair any of the wiring of the outlet!
5. Assess the Attic
If you do one thing this winter, change your furnace filters. Make your second task winterizing your windows and doors. Third on that list should be addressing the dreaded attic: insulation, sealing, and ventilation. Consult our Know Thy Attic article to get started.