Top 10 Home Energy Mistakes

 

1.  New Windows.   This tops the list because of the cost associated verse the return on your investment.  The draftiness you feel is related more to the fact that your whole home (starting in the attic) is not efficient. New windows will add value to your home but if you're starting there for comfort you are wrong. 

2.  Humidity.  Built between 2000 - 2012?  Let me guess you have water on those cheap builder grade windows.  Guess what?  It's not the windows!  See above.  Your house is too tight!  The cheap windows are the paths of least resistance for air to be drawn into the building envelope.  You need some form of mechanical ventilation for your home.  The walls were built well and sealed well.  Attic probably wasn't.  Codes have changed and your home wasn't tested. (Blower Door).   Now due to a tight building envelope a humidifier running all day, plants, kids, laundry, dishes.  You have moisture issues.  *Warning Energy efficiency projects can make this issue worse.  

3.  Vented crawl space.    Fiberglass insulation is fibrous.  Air transfers via that old fiberglass and strips away the heat like if you left your jacket unzipped.  Its convection baby.  You need to have that space sealed.  Two part closed cell spray foam works best but beware.  Moisture needs to be addressed before you turn this space into conditioned area.   A vapor barrier needs to be installed continuous with no gaps, cracks, or holes.   Monolithic membrane.  

4.  Mice, mice, baby.  Have mice?  Most homes do.  Homes with pets most certainly do.  They love your fiberglass insulation too.  If you have two big dogs most likely your attic is covered in mouse scat.  Sealed attics, cellulose insulation and closed cell spray foam rim joist help with this.  So do traps.   

5.  Connected front porch.   That under that porch roof there is no siding.  It's not sealed and the floor is open to the outside.  That's why that bedroom is always cold.  Oh and look at that supply right under the window.  The furnace turns on, air is sucked into the floor cavity, dilutes the warm air..  That air leaks to the outside once it gets to the vent.  Oh great!.  Rigid foam board, air sealed or dense pack cellulose is how you fix the right way.

6.  Fiberglass batts in your attic.  Really? Is it 1970?  Do you still wear cut off jean shorts and have a banana seat on your bike?  Cool use batts then.  They are impossible to install.  Never 100 percent continuous like a blow in. They are very itchy, a R49 batt is short and fat like your uncle Gary and if they have a vapor barrier on the back in a few years it will be covered with mold like Gary's shirt that has mustard stains on em.    

7.  Natural draft water heaters.   Did you know you can still buy a VCR on Amazon?  Did you know you can replace your natural draft water heater with a new one.  Hey why not have some extra carbon monoxide for your family to breath.  It might not kill you or make you sick.  But when you install that new kitchen fan or bath fan or dryer or even get your high efficiency furnace you might be creating a situation where that CO is being drawn into the house.  I know you have a detector  Upstairs.  Well those only go off if you are going to die.  And if a failure is going to happen its most likely your turd water heater.  Get a power vented or tank-less and stop being a cheap prick

8.  Baffles vents. Settle down Bevis.  No a baffles vent in every bay is not necessary.  Your are over thinking this and you are wrong.  Air sealing your attic, vent your bath fan out of your attic and make sure you have enough insulation.  It will be uh, hum, yea, yea cool.  

9. Bath Fan.  It's a bird, it's a train, it's an airplane taking off.  Your bath fan is old.  You don't have your Apple 2e still do you?  Bath fan technology changes like laptops.  They are smart and can sense pressure, motion and humidity.  You leave it on and it thinks for you (AI).  Do it before the insulation project or else your electrician will be crawling through that new insulation and hating you.  An insulated duct leaving that fan with it's own roof termination is best.

10 Whole house fan.  You use it 3 times per year.  Your parents had one when you were growing up and loved it.  Times have changed my friend.  Every day you are heating or cooling you are losing/gaining heat because of that fan.  No your fiberglass on top of it is  doing nothing.  You have an unsealed, uninsulated leaky problem.  Admit it.  Times have changed get rid of that thing. Cut your mullet too.   Drywall and insulation will help reduce air/heat loss.  Give it up already.  You are wrong.  It's doing much more bad then good.

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