A few weeks ago, we had a guy out here from Lightly Treading to do an energy audit. He poked around our house, looked at windows, the level of insulation in the attic and what was going on in the garage. I fully expected him to say “you know, you should really think about moving” but instead he had a number of really good ideas, things we could do now to help our home become more energy efficient. He also punctured a few preconceived bubbles I had, which was a good thing. He said good blinds, the kind that have tracks along the inside of a window well, can be really great for keeping cold air out. If your windows are trash, like ours are in the basement, you may still have to replace them but before spending gobs of cash look at the type of blinds you have.
In the attic, make sure you have the appropriate amount of insulation for your area and that your doors have a good seal. He is sending us a report but it seemed like there are a number of “smallish” things we can do now before really having to dig into our wallets.
The picture above is the equipment that is used during the blower test. I almost forgot to clean out the fireplace, which would have meant the entire house coated in fine ash during test, but the fine folks at LightlyTreading reminded me. All the windows and door have to be closed during the test so that the tester can wave a wand of smoke around various openings to see how much escapes. I am fairly certain our home probably looked like it was emitting some sort of distressed smoke signal. Unfortunately, the poor guy had to come back and retest the house as he was getting some odd numbers during the reporting. I’m not entirely looking forward to the results from those tests but I should get the final report-out this week. So, I’ll post the report once I get it if I haven’t used it to better insulate a window.