When we poked our heads into the windowlike entrance into the uninsulated crawlspace, he sighed. The bare trusses unquestionably should be insulated, but the two-foot height of the crawlspace and large ducts snaking through it would make the task extremely challenging. I need to contact an insulation installation company and get quotes. The two first-floor rooms above the space are noticeably colder in the winter. At the least, we should insulate the crawlspace door to prevent cold airflow into the basement.
On the second floor, he made the same recommendations about foam gaskets on the outside walls but also suggested we caulk the gaps around the overhead light fixtures. Cold air from the attic sneaks in there, as evidenced by the pattern of cobwebs around the overhead lights in the closets. Yes, we have cobwebs, but apparently they're helpful. The pattern where they're affixed to the ceiling indicates airflow, confirming a cold air entrance point.
He asked to look at the attic, which is a cumbersome chore at our house. The small entrance is in the top of the linen closet, above the shelves full of blankets, pillows and sheets. We hauled a ladder from the garage and he managed to push open the reluctant door and take a look. Our insulation was a little thin. We should add more.
He offered to install low-flow showerhead and faucet aerators to reduce water flow and hot water usage, but we put those on ourselves.
The audit took about 1 1/2 hours. I asked what kinds of savings customers typically see; he said it depended on whether they follow the suggestions. Insulation installation and the installation of an efficient furnace provide big savings over time.
Customers who make some of the recommended improvements such as additional insulation, duct sealing, furnace replacement with heat pump or water heater replacement may be eligible for a partial rebate for their expenses. We have a gas furnace, so AEP's rebate program does not apply to us.
Any owner-occupied, single-family residence serviced by Appalachian Power and AEP West Virginia is eligible for the custom audit. The homeowner must be home during the audit. To schedule an audit appointment, call 888-446-7719.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.