In Part 17 – The Second Audit-2, we wrote about how we were, and remain, strongly disappointed that the energy auditor did not take as thorough an air leakage investigation during the initial, or ‘D’, energy efficiency assessment (i.e. energy audit) as he did with the follow-up, or ‘E’, energy efficiency assessment.
Let me explain why.
In Part 16 – The Second Audit-1, I mentioned that I was very confident I had found and sealed all of the major air leaks identified by Bruce, the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit program energy auditor, plus some on my own, including:
- weather stripping and door sweep on cold cellar door
- weather stripping on inside of cabinet covering the electric panel
- ENERGY STAR replacement windows
- exterior wall electrical outlet and switches insullation
- wall paneling air leakage sealed in basement
- replacement front door
- strippable caulking around attic cover
All of the air leakage items he found we sealed except for the fireplace dampers and the recessed lights in the ceiling. I really didn’t think that those leaks made that much difference, especially since our contractor indicated that he did put the recommended cover over each recessed light can in the attic. I was very pleased with what we did in this regard that prior to the second energy audit I felt very confident that we would achieve at least a 10% reduction in air leakage qualifying us for the $300 (Federal + Provincial) ecoENERGY grant.
Who much reduction in air leakage was measured during the second energy audit by these gauges?
How could that be? We sealed all of the major air leaks identified to us by the assessor during the first visit except for the family room fireplace damper that had a small gap when closed.
Well, during the blower test of the follow-up the assessor spent time with me looking for air leaks causing the negligible, if any, improvement in our home.
I was initially bothered that he was ‘searching’ for leaks. Wouldn’t he have known where they were from the first assessment?
He found one here on either side of the family room fireplace where the brick meets the wall. Sure, I could feel the air rushing into the house from these two air leaks. All it needed, he said, was some clear silicone caulking. Well, why didn’t he tell me the first time?
Next was in the basement. Remember the fireplace where I found my own huge air leak (I could feel the cold air rushing in without any blower test)? Well, he said there was air leaking on either side of the metal cover between the cover and the wood paneling. Again, simple to fix, why didn’t he tell me the first time?
Next was the cold cellar door. But I already applied the weather stripping and sweep like he said to do. Now, he was pointing out that the inside of the door frame, the part actually inside the cold cellar, was lacking a lot of insulation and needed the expandable foam along all part of the door frame. Again, why didn’t he tell me before?
Wait, you haven’t heard the best / worst yet. Come back tomorrow for that one.
To continue to the next article in this series, simply select this link to Part 19 – The Second Audit-3.
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