Ecotelligent Homes’ recent project was highlighted by the U.S. Department of Energy and their Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. The DOE operates programs in all 50 states, so it was a great honor to have them recognize one of our happy clients.
Ecotelligent Homes is a top-performing contractor in Consumers Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. The federal program is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program focuses on making energy efficient upgrades to existing homes to improve the home’s comfort.
For this project, Ecotelligent Homes worked on Margaret Rankin’s Metro Detroit home. She had been living with unbearable temperatures in the summer months and freezing cold temperatures during the winter for over two decades. At first, she was hesitant to make changes to her home, but her sister previously worked with Ecotelligent Homes and was extremely happy with their services.
Margaret invited Ecotelligent Homes to visit her home to provide her with a quote. The 3,514 square foot split-level home was built in 1962 with three bedrooms and a finished basement. In the winter, the home was heated with an older gas furnace; in the summer, a whole-home air conditioner was used to cool the home. Neither was sufficient though; Margaret was utilizing a portable air conditioner for her uncomfortably hot upper-level bedroom and added a space heater to her grandchildren’s basement playroom to keep them warm in the winter.
Ecotelligent Homes surveyed Margaret’s home and determined that the primary issue for the older home was the lack of insulation. Minimal insulation was found in the attic, basement, and walls. The home was also lacking air sealing, which allowed air to escape or enter the home. After determining this, Margaret was provided with three options for improving her home’s comfort. She decided to have our team insulate and air seal the attic, basement rim joists and the upstairs cantilever that extends beyond the home’s lower level. We also added attic baffles to allow for ventilation.
The spray foam insulation vastly improved the home’s R-value to the ENERGY STAR® recommendations. The R-value is the measurement of the insulation’s thermal resistance and its ability to block the movement of heat or thermal resistance.
Our team performed a blower door test and thermal scanning before and after home improvements were made. The test images, shown below, show the decrease in air entering and escaping out of the home.
Margaret also took our advice and sealed off the home’s whole house fan when it wasn’t in use. Home’s whole house fans are a common area for unwanted air to enter or escape.
With these improvements, Margaret noticed a difference in her home’s comfort. In the winter, her furnace was running far less and there was a noticeable difference in her energy bills. Prior to her home’s updates, Margaret’s home was scoring a 3 on a 10-point home energy score scale. After the addition of air sealing and insulation throughout the home, it is now ranking at a 6, which is above average. The decrease in energy usage will save her nearly $300 annually.
Learn more about Ecotelligent’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® project here.