Homes today are being constructed and updated with modern products that reduce drafts and increase energy efficiency. This is great news for all of us. However scientists and engineers are discovering that this increased tightness has reduced inside air quality. By tightening we are limiting the amount of hourly air exchanges and causing major microscopic interior environmental problems. Most new homes today are designed with air exchangers and properly vented attic spaces to rectify this problem. That doesn’t help the thousands of homeowners In Maine who own an older home and want to increase their homes energy efficiency. A balance has to be considered when doing this updating. Older homes have drafts coming in from everywhere. This allows for many full home air exchanges per hour. Windows and doors are usually the biggest culprit for drafts and can be easily replaced as a remedy. (If the house was built before 1976 you will need to test for lead before you do any repairs). The second place for major heat loss is the insulation in your attic space. When upgrading this area you need to ensure the space has adequate ventilation so as not to create condensation that leads to mold. Ventilation also cools your roof in winter and prevents ice dams that cause serious leaking. Those are a few of the easy visual fixes. To go deeper and tighter we use infrared equipment that can measure heat transfer through solid materials and cold spots where insulation is needed. We also do pressure testing, this test reduces the interior pressure in your home and shows where outside air is leaking in. After we do all the efficiency updating your home will be ready for the elements and easier to heat. However we have reduced the air exchanges considerably and that could create another problem. Radon gas, mold and carbon monoxide are a few of the microscopic problems I mentioned earlier. These problems may not have had any effect before because they are measured with air as parts per million or billion. This is also why I hear older people say that they lived with all these problems and never had problems. That is not the case today. Reducing the air exchange ramps up the safe levels to unsafe parts per mil. and creates a health issue. That is why it is important to test your home after this work is done. Please look at my site for further explanations about these challenges.
Doing these remedies can save thousands of dollars and will create a very healthy living environment. and with the help of the PACE loan program you can reclaim those costs rather quickly.