Updated 05/07/2012 05:00 AM
Going Green: Home energy conservation
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A home energy audit, if performed by a certified professional, will give you a detailed analysis of what’s needed to make your home energy efficient. And most likely, work is needed in your basement and your attic.
Paul Crovella, Sustainable Constructions Management, of SUNY ESF said, “Because of the fact that heat rises, homes draw cold air in through the lowest parts of the structure. All of the below grade and the lower section of the basement are prone to having a lot of infiltration with cold air coming into that space. That cold air works its way up through the home and into the top of the home in the attic. There’s a constant flow through all the joints and connections that exist in the building so typically when someone comes in to air seal the home the two places they spend a lot of time is up in the attic and then down in the basement getting the cold to stop leaking into the basement and getting the heat to stop leaking out from the attic.”
In many homes, the critical joint between the masonry in the ground and the wood framing of the house wasn’t sealed very well.
“So it’s not unusual to go down into a basement and be able to look out and see light through a number of gaps located near the top of the basement wall and sealing at that location, right around the rim joist on the perimeter of the basement is a very common location. It helps a lot in terms of stopping that flow into the basement,” said Crovella.
Sealing leaks in the attic is a bit more complicated because it’s not a smooth surface.
Crovella said, “So what needs to be done is someone needs to get up there and get down to that level in-between the ceiling joists, the tops of the trusses and the upper sections of the walls and actually go through and seal every one of those lines.”