Tag Archives: heat

Energy Audits (HERS) Can Offer Big Paybacks

Furnaces and boilers worked overtime this month, and the next set of energy bills to arrive in mailboxes will show just how expensive a brutal cold spell can be for homeowners, particularly in the older homes that populate the Chicago area.

An energy audit can help homeowners and owners of multifamily buildings determine how to better keep a property warm in the winter and cool in the summer by tightening the building’s envelope. The fixes typically cost a few thousand dollars, and area utility companies offer rebates tied to the work.

Can energy efficiency add value to your home?  Can a HERS rating be used in a real estate appraisal?  Contact the real estate appraisers at www.scappraisals.com ; they are forerunners in energy efficient and green appraisals.

From July 2012 to last September, CNT Energy, a division of the nonprofit, Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology, helped almost 3,700 homeowners tackle energy-efficiency projects in their homes. Clarinda Valentine is one of them.

Valentine, who has owned a two-flat in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood for 30 years, already had undertaken several projects to make the building more energy efficient, such as installing new windows and exterior doors. She still felt a draft on certain days.

“I was still getting air,” Valentine said. “Depending on what direction the wind was coming from, I could feel air on my legs.”

Diagnostic test. After hearing about CNT Energy from a friend, she called the group, and an energy audit was performed on the building. The auditor tested the furnace and hot water heater, and performed a blower door test to see just how leaky her home was.

read more at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/ct-mre-0119-podmolik-homefront-20140119,0,98796.column

disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

How to Baffle Heat Producing Fixtures


Some electrical devices located in attics, generate lots of heat when operating. If you pile insulation on top of a heat producing fixture (HPF), it could get hot enough to start a fire. Before blowing insulation into an attic, place baffles around all HPFs.

Heat producing fixtures include most recessed lights and heaters, doorbell transformers, electrical wiring connections not in junction boxes, metal flues and knob & tube wiring. Heaters with an Underwriter’s Laboratory label that says “Heater” or “Air Heater” don’t need to be baffled. The same is true of newer recessed lights that are rated “IC,” which means they can be covered with insulation. They must have an identifying label. The label could also be on the outside of the housing, visible from the attic. If it’s inside the housing, you’ll have to remove the light bulb and maybe the trim piece that fits inside the housing to find the label. If you don’t see any of these labels, then you must baffle the fixture.


Baffles should be made from a solid, flame resistant material. Wide metal flashing makes a great baffle (except for use around wiring). It’s easy to bend, can be fastened with staples, and cuts easily with a utility knife.  In some areas, fiberglass insulation batts can be used as baffles. Treated cardboard, sometimes used to baffle attic vents, is not acceptable for baffling HPFs. Baffles must be be firmly attached to something in the ceiling structure, such as the ceiling joists, rafters, or roof sheathing.

Read more at: http://oikos.com/library/weatherization/hpfs/hpfs.html

1 Way of 24 Ways to Save Energy Now

#21 of the series

Schedule a HVAC tune-up – Heating and cooling account for 43% of an average household’s annual energy bill.  Scheduled maintenance may reduce those costs by $47 to $95 a year and prolongs the life of your equipment.  A HVAC technician checks for faulty electrical connections, tests controls, gas pressure, burner combustion and monitors thermostat settings and refrigerant levels.

Disclaimer: For information and entertainment purposes only.