Project Participants:Energy Masters
Energy Masters Home Performance #1
- House was cold
in the winter; upstairs hot in summer.
- They wanted to
What We Found
Besides finding the
typical problems that cause comfort and efficiency problems, the greatest issue
in this home was one of safety.
- The gas oven was malfunctioning,
spilling high levels of carbon monoxide into the home. When the over-sized furnace
came on it depressurized the living room – the area closest to the return
grille. This, in turn, caused the carbon monoxide to move into other parts of
the house from the kitchen.
Five Hundred people a year die from carbon
monoxide poisoning in the United States. Many more are sickened. Carbon
Monoxide causes flu-like symptoms at relatively low doses.
- Air leakage moderate
as determined with a blower door test but with a number of connections between
attic and living space, including the attic hatch and recessed lights.
Unsealed recessed light.
- Safety checks of gas
appliances revealed a dangerous level of carbon monoxide in the kitchen from a
malfunctioning gas stove and range top. Compounding the problem, the house was
seriously depressurized when the over-sized furnace came on, allowing the
carbon monoxide to spread throughout the house.
- Also found solvents stored next
to gas-fired furnace in garage.
Improper Storage of Solvents and Chemicals
- Leaky duct
system; a duct in the front hall that was completely disconnected from the
- No sub-floor
What We Did
house after finding carbon monoxide. Cautioned client (a stay at home mother
who liked to bake) not to use the oven until it could be repaired.
- Contracted with
HVAC company to introduce outside air into the return duct to relieve
depressurization in the house.
- Air sealed
attic penetrations with expandable foam or other material. Installed weathstrip
around attic hatch and insulated the hatch with rigid insulation glued in
- Blew in
additional cellulose insulation over the top of existing insulation to fill in
gaps and voids to achieve a uniform value of R-49.
- Sealed and
repaired the duct system.
- Insulated the
crawl space floor with R-19 fiberglass batts.
- Client opted to
replace gas stove.
- Prevented serious
illness or death by finding a gas oven that was spilling dangerous levels of
carbon monoxide into the home
- Reduced random
air leakage by 15%.
- Improved the
comfort of the home.
- Estimated annual savings of 473
therms of gas ($421 in today’s energy prices.
- 13% Simple
Return on Investment (in today’s energy prices).
approximately 6,167 lbs of carbon annually.