Block quilt, detail, by Donna Choate. Photographed by Geraldine N. Johnson. 1978.
Coming Home Collection, Library of Congress.
Rana Jamison and her husband Henry live in a home built in the 1930s with their two children on the West Side of Cincinnati in Green Township. Their home performance project is a good example of how not everything in life nor in home improvements will always run perfectly smoothly.
However the good news is that with a third party like the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance to offer support, it is much easier to land comfortably on the other side of the major and minor hurdles we might encounter.
The Jamisons were referred to the Energy Alliance’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®(HPwES) Program by Advanced Insulation & Energy Technologies (AIT), an approved Energy Alliance insulation installer they had contacted to add insulation to their attic. The Jamisons’ upstairs bedroom was historically very cold in the winter, and the temperature of their daughter’s bedroom would reflect the weather outside.
Rana utilized an intricate system of quilts (because they are easy to wash), flannel sheets, wool socks, and thermal pajamas to keep herself and her children warm at night. “They would still complain about being cold, and I would have to tell them to put their fleece on,” Rana explained.
Upon learning about the Energy Alliance’s financial incentives and third party quality assurance program, the Jamisons decided to have a Home Energy Assessment completed before moving forward with their insulation project. They ran into some bumps along the way with the installation of their attic insulation, but in every case, Rana was able to get in touch with someone at that Energy Alliance to resolve the issue in a timely manner.
In Rana’s words:
“It would have been a whole other story without the help of Rob McCracken and the Energy Alliance. That [support] was really helpful. I don’t think [our home performance project] would have gone as smoothly without a third party. The other thing we liked was that the inspector gave us other recommendations that we could do ourselves. That was really helpful.”
Shortly after the Jamisons finished insulating their attic, the need to replace their air conditioning unit arose. Rana decided to continue with the HPwES Program; she called the Home Performance Contractor Arlinghaus to give a quote for the AC replacement. “They were really good about itemizing everything. Arlinghaus took the time. They sent us multiple quotes with different scenarios, and they explained the scope of the job. It was very helpful. It only took us a couple of days to work through the proposals and make a decision. It was a good decision for us.”
This winter, Rana and her family will be able to leave their thermal pajamas in the drawer. Her kids no longer complain about the cold; instead they complain they are too warm under that pile of blankets!
Look to next month’s Stories from Home to “Get to Know your Home Performance Contractor: Arlinghaus.”