In a previous blog posting, I covered my home energy audit and how Recurve worked with me to create a plan to remedy problems at a modest cost. Since then Recurve has joined forces with Advanced Home Energy (AHE) located in Richmond, California. They had worked with Advanced Home Energy over the last five years, and the change allowed their construction operations to continue upgrading Bay Area homes while allowing Recurve to focus on delivering energy auditing software to contractors throughout California and across the country.
So the actual changes to my house were completed by AHE.
Get a Building Permit.
Seal electrical and plumbing penetrations in attic and crawlspace to reduce leakage by using materials such as foam board, expanding foam, caulk, and fire rated material.
Even small wiring holes in the closet ceiling (from the previous homeowner) were sealed with foam. In all rooms, it's nice to be able to put your hand next to a light switch or wall outlet and not feel cold air pouring out.
Seal existing return air pathway with sheet metal and duct mastic to prevent return air leakage to increase heating system efficiency because the system will not be bringing in cold air from outside.
Safely remove and dispose of all duct including sections that have asbestos tape.
Install new duct and seal all duct connections with water-based, low VOC mastic. Install airflow dampers on all duct runs in the attic to meet design airflow specifications and to guide more air to the master bedroom.
Insulate attic kneewalls where insulation is missing, install blown-in cellulose insulation R-30 throughout attic over top of fiberglass batts, and install insulation wind damns on eave vents to maintain installation quality and performance over time.
Conduct BPI safety compliance testing (required by PG&E to qualify for Energy Upgrade California rebates).
Readings were taken at the beginning, during, and at the end of the process. The goal is NOT to make the home airtight. A home should have about 30% leakage. In other words, 30% of the air should be fresh air that normally enters around the windows. Before the work was done, our home was getting 75% new air.
- City of Alameda inspection in compliance with the Building Permit.
AHE will file my rebate request with PG&E on my behalf. When I receive the check in the mail, it will bring this project to its conclusion, but the benefits will be enjoyed for as long as our house still stands. It will be fun to compare this year's energy bills with past years on a month-by-month basis.
Getting green in a personal way is alive in the lab.