The main benefits of of an Energy Upgrade are
comfort, efficiency, health, safety and durability


Do you have any uncomfortable rooms in your home? Hot in the summer or cold and drafty in the winter? An energy upgrade can make these rooms comfortable again.

Uncomfortable rooms are often caused by poor insulation in combination with unseen air leaks. Most of the insulation that we see is poorly installed.

Badly installed insulation will not perform as it should. The biggest culprit is air gaps in the framing cavities. Air gaps can reduce performance to 50% of its rated value.

Our solution is to first seal all air leaks. Then we either replace or add to the existing insulation in order to increase the R-value. Either way we eliminate any air gaps in the insulation that are degrading its performance. A well sealed and insulated envelope will provide even, comfortable temperatures throughout the house.


  • Reduce your monthly utility bills Reduce your carbon footprint.
  • A well sealed and insulated building envelope will save you money, month after month.
  • A tight, well insulated home will also allow you to use a smaller, less expensive HVAC system.
  • A properly sized HVAC system will cost less to install, and less to operate.
  • Did you know that most ductwork systems leak 30% of their energy to the outside? A properly sized and sealed ductwork system will save money and energy, and provide a higher level of comfort.


Pollutants — Dust, allergens, and insulation fibers can cause or aggravate respiratory problems such as asthma. Radon, asbestos, tobacco smoke are all pollutants that can build up in home and contribute to poor health. Common cleaning products and furnishings can also off-gas unpleasant and unhealthy levels of toxins. In an unvented home this off-gassing can build up to an unhealthy level. In a typical home air is drawn from inside dusty, fiber laden wall cavities and damp, moldy crawlspaces.

Fresh Air — For air to feel fresh in your home it should be completely refreshed about every three hours. In most homes a pressure dynamic called the "stack effect" is what changes the air in your home. The stack effect causes warm air in the house to rise up and escape through unseen holes in the ceiling plane. In an unsealed home depending on stack effect, air is drawn in from the crawlspace and wall cavities.

The stack effect is particularly pronounced in the winter when it is cold outside and warm inside. In the spring and fall when inside and outside temperatures are about the same, the stack effect is less pronounced, and subsequently there will be little to no air change occurring.

Depending on mother nature for ventilation gives you too much in the winter when you are trying to keep your house warm, and not enough in the milder months when more air movement would be appreciated. Even with the windows open, on a windless day the ventilation will be minimal.

This lack of ventilation can lead to a build up of pollutants in the home. These pollutants can include radon, allergens, dust, mold spores and off-gassing. Mechanical ventilation provides a constant flow of fresh air, maintaining a high level of indoor air quality regardless of the season.

A constant stream of fresh air has been shown to keep indoor pollutants at a much lower level than the intermittent air changes that occur with the natural stack effect or occasional gust of wind. Air sealing in combination with mechanical ventilation allows you to control where your fresh air comes from. For a family with children who have respiratory issues, this can be an important step toward better health.


Carbon monoxide is a combustion byproduct generated by furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers, stoves, ovens, and fireplaces. We find homes that have combustion appliances that are being operated under unsafe circumstances. These circumstances can include insufficient make up air, high levels of carbon monoxide and improper drafting.

When a house is air sealed, special attention needs to be paid to combustion appliances. Combustion appliances need a certain amount of make-up air in order to operate safely and efficiently. Contractors can unwittingly create unsafe conditions in the home with their work. We test all combustion appliances before and after any work is done to make sure that they are operating safely.

Another safety issue has to do with fire. The building code has a strong emphasis on containment, should a fire break out. This is for the safety of the family, allowing time to escape, as well as for the emergency responders. Unsafe circumstances can include open utility chases, substandard combustion vent clearances, and the improper use of certain insulation materials. We can identify and rectify these fire related safety issues.


Moisture is probably the biggest threat to the durability of your home. Moisture enters a home from showers, cooking, breathing, shell leaks, improper exterior drainage, as well as evaporation from the crawlspace.

50 quarts of water per day can evaporate from the crawlspace earth. Water vapor from showers can be mitigated with a high quality bathroom exhaust fan.

The best units are quiet and efficient, but need to be ducted properly for best performance. Water vapor from the crawlspace can be handled by sealing the crawlspace. This involves laying a 6-10 mil plastic sheeting down on the soil. Then most of the vents are sealed and a special exhaust fan is installed to provide a low level of continuous ventilation. In addition to increasing durability, getting a handle on moisture issues will improve air quality by reducing the conditions that support mold growth.











energy upgrades that work


For a more energy efficient home call 510.936.1212