In Part 20 – The Second Audit-4 we discussed our extreme disappointment with what happened to us in participating in this program, specifically the lack of a required air leakage examination of the home during the first, or ‘D’, energy efficiency assessment by the assessor with the home owner.
It is as if the program is providing insufficient support for the participant. Even large air leaks within a home’s ‘envelope’ can only be detected during the blower test as we have come to learn.
Now, the other aspect I want to mention is once again the recessed lighting, some call them pot lights, in the ceiling; here is a picture showing some of the recessed lights we had installed in the ceiling of our main floor eating area just off the kitchen.
Our assessor did mention during the first energy audit that they were an area of significant air leakage.
Subsequently I mentioned this to our contractor who was still doing work in our home. He laughed it off as me knowing nothing. He said that he did put the required covering on top of the recessed lighting cans in the ceiling (the part of the recessed lighting you do not see … the picture below is of the part you do see).
However, as we have learned that is not sufficient. Especially if one has as many recessed lights as we had installed in our home during it’s major renovation. Here is a picture showing the ceiling of our family room with all of the new pot lights.
According to the energy audit assessor, what is required to stop the air leakage through each recessed lighting can costs about $6 per can. It’s not my number; it is what he told me.
What is required is to apply special sealant from one of those spray cans, like the ones which are used for insulating foam when installing a door frame or window, to apply the sealant around the base and any openings of the recessed lighting cover. The energy audit assessor said that this takes about a full can of sealant per recessed lighting can cover. That seems excessive to me, but that is what he said.
This sealant was never, ever, mentioned by our contractor who installed our recessed ceiling lights.
He’s a good guy, but if he doesn’t know (or care) about this, now you do.
So, if you have recessed lighting, wait until after the first ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit energy efficiency assessments, before you personally or have a professional apply the required air sealant to them …. and then of course increase your attic insulation (covered under the ecoENERGY program).
If you want recessed lighting in a room, now you know how to properly finish the job!
Next time, we look at the results of our second energy, what we will receive and what we won’t.
To continue to the next article in this series, simply select this link to Part 21.
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