By Matt Gephardt
Photography and Editing by Mike Fessler
(KUTV) Terri Klug lives in an Olympus Cove home that is about 70 years old. She agreed to let us use her home for a test: We wanted to see how much air was escaping her home and how difficult would it be to fix.
Teri says she won't be surprised if she learns her home is inefficient. She says she regularly feels a draft by a large window in her living room.
To help with the experiment, we enlisted Jensen Poore. He owns Energy Wise Utah, a company which specializes in locating and fixing air leaks in people's homes. To find the leaks, first, Jensen hooks up what is called a blower door to Teri's front door. It's an air tight piece of material that fits snuggly into Teri’s front door.The blower door has one large whole for a large fan that Jensen says simulates about a 20mph outside wind. The fan is attached to a computer that reads how hard the fan is working, which is what determines the efficiency of the home. The harder the fan has to work, the less-leaky the home.
Jensen then uses an incredibly sensitive gun that reads heat signatures to see where cold air from outside is leaking into the home. We discovered the largest trouble spots were a section of missing insulation in the ceiling and a missing attic hatch cover. There were also several smaller leaks around several doors and windows.
Energy Wise Utah agreed to come back the following day and make a few repairs to Teri’s home. They did some pretty simple and inexpensive things, including installing a little extra insulation, sealing around the windows and the doors with caulk. They also installed a thin layer of cellophane over several of the older, leakier windows. In all, Energy Wise Utah worked for about four hours installing roughly $80 worth of supplies.
When Jensen fired back up the fan it was working nearly twice as hard as it had been before the repairs, meaning the house is now leaking about 50% less air into the house. For Teri, that will mean significantly less gas will need to be used to heat her home, which will mean a significant cut down in her gas bill.
"I think that the science behind getting a home energy efficient is so worthwhile," Teri said.
Jensen says that with rebates offered by gas and power companies, many people in Utah could get home repairs similar to Teri’s and ultimately have it not cost them a dime. To see if you qualify for a rebate, Jensen suggests first calling your gas or power company and asking them to audit your home before you call a repair company. More information on rebates can be found by following the links below.
Questar Gas: http://www.thermwise.com/home/Weatherization.html
Rocky Mountain Power: http://www.rockymountainpower.net/res/sem/epi.html
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)