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Energy Masters
Phone: 775.323.3078

Energy Masters Home Performance #1

Customer Complaints

  • House was cold in the winter; upstairs hot in summer.
  • They wanted to save energy.


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 register boot. 
  • Under-performing attic insulation.
  • No sub-floor insulation.


What We Did

  • Ventilated 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 place.
  • 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).
  • Saves approximately 6,167 lbs of carbon annually.

Tags: Building Performance

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