Contact Us

Project Participants:

Energy Masters
Phone: 775.323.3078

Energy Masters Home Performance #2

Customer Complaints


. House was cold in the winter; children’s bedrooms upstairs particularly uncomfortable.

. They wanted to save energy.


What We Found


. Air leakage moderate as determined with a blower door test but with some connections between attic and living space, especially at the attic hatch.


. Leaky duct system; remote plenums (“pressure drop boxes”) in the duct system reduced air flow and created comfort problems.

These leaks in the duct system not only waste energy, they can transport pollutants from the attic to the living space

Air is a fluid and, like water, takes the path of least resistance. These remote plenums restrict air flow, wasting energy. They also sometimes blow apart to dump conditioned air into attics or crawl spaces.


. Poorly installed and insufficient attic insulation:


Insulation not in contact with ceiling doesn’t work! Gaps totaling 7% of attic floor reduces R-value by 50%. It also has to be at the recommended depth for the climate zone


. Air exchange in house lower than it should have been to provide a healthful indoor environment.


. Bird droppings and remains of dead birds could compromise the healthfulness of air entering the home because leaks in the duct system can transport polluted air to the living space.

What We Did


. Air sealed attic penetrations with expandable foam or other material. Installed weathstrip around attic hatch and insulated the hatch with rigid insulation glued in place.

. Re-installed attic fiberglass batts so that they were in contact with surface they were supposed to insulate then blew in additional cellulose insulation over the top to fill in gaps and voids to achieve a uniform value of R-49.

. Removed remote plenums “pressure drop boxes” and replaced them with “Y” connections for better air flow.

. Sealed the duct system.

. Client opted to replace standard ventilating fan in laundry room with a low-sone, energy-efficient model we recommended that ventilates the house on a continual basis.




. Reduced random air leakage by 15%.  

. Improved the comfort of the home and ensured healthful indoor air quality.

. Estimated annual savings of 265 therms of gas ($236 in today’s energy pricese).

. 12% Simple Return on Investment (in today’s energy prices).

. Saves approximately 3,456 lbs of carbon annually.


Two Story, Single Family Residence in Reno Nevada

Sq. Footage: 2460; Tract Home

Age 17 Years

Gas Fired, Forced Air Heating System

Tags: Building Performance

Mail can be sent to: SiGBA P.O. Box 4245 Truckee, CA 96160

© Copyright 2019 Sierra Green Building Association