energy efficiency

Winter Wonderland

What should your attic look like? A Winter Wonderland. 

When we look at an attic, you ideally want to see it full of insulation. If you have blown fiberglass insulation, chances are it will be white. When we look at the photos below, what do we see?

We see fiberglass batt insulation and floor joists. In this scenario, being in the attic, we do not want to see any joists. If you see joists, then your home is under-insulated. After we finished the work, what do we see?

A Winter Wonderland!

Take a peek in your attic. If you do not see a Winter Wonderland, then you are under-insulated. 

Rental Hunter's Guide to Energy Efficiency

Rentals come in all different shapes and sizes. Finding the right place can be difficult. Most times we are more concerned with location and aesthetics than we are with how much those utility bills might cost us. Most likely, landlords will do enough to make the space habitable but not energy efficient. So here's your quick guide of Do's and Do Not's on getting energy efficiency in a rental property. 

Do Not

  • get an apartment on the first floor with no insulation or air sealing between the apartment and basement
  • get an apartment on the top floor with little to no insulation or air sealing in the attic space
  • get an apartment with single pane windows
  • live in a room with knee walls that are not air sealed properly
  • have hot water through an oil boiler with domestic hot water
  • live in a room with recessed lights leading to an attic space unless they are air sealed properly - this is a potential fire hazard and energy loss
  • get oil heat - unless apartment is well air sealed and insulated
  • get electric baseboard - unless apartment is well air sealed and insulated


  • try to find an apartment where heat and hot water are included in rent
  • look for gas heat or high efficiency heat pump
  • look for central air when available - this is more comfortable and efficient than window A/C units
  • use a programmable thermostat
  • upgrade to CFL or LED (preferrered) light bulbs - then swap out and take them with you when you move to a new residence

The Blower Door

The blower door is an essential tool to determining how to fix your home's comfort and energy efficiency problems. It is very difficult to determine the leaky and troublesome spots of your home  without the blower door - as well as impossible to find the actual air infiltration level.

Every home has to breathe. Air has to enter the home, and air has to leave. Sufficient air flow in a home helps clear the home of pollutants, carbon monoxide, and moisture (a.k.a. mold's best friend). Too much air flow makes the home drafty, uncomfortable, and inefficient.

By taking the volume of the home, and a few other factors, we can scientifically determine how much air should enter and leave your home - also called the Building Airflow Standard or B.A.S. By using the blower door, we can determine the actual infiltration of air into your home. 

Since we now know the home's actual air infiltration and the B.A.S, we can figure out how much the home may be air sealed. By minimizing the air infiltration, the home is now more comfortable, energy efficient, and safe.