Your Single Source for Comfort and Energy Solutions
Problems We Solve
Most houses have at least one or two things that just aren't quite right. This page looks at some of the most common problems, their causes, and IES Green's solutions.
Uneven Room Temperatures
Industry studies consistently find that over 50% of homes have at least one room that is too hot or too cold. In many homes with basements, it is common to find large variations in temperature. From the basement to the stifling top bedroom floor, a spread of 15 degrees is common. In winter, cold spots and cold drafts are common complaints.
IES Green’s Solution: An uneven room temperature condition could be caused by several factors within your home, including inadequate insulation, air leakage, poor duct system design, duct leakage, unwanted heating by the sun in warmer months, or a failure in part of your heating and cooling system. An IES Green audit will identify the problem and determine a cost-saving course of action.
Uncomfortable, Drafty Rooms
Cold air leaking into your house under floors, around windows, doors, electrical outlets, light fixtures, and gaps in corners can cause rooms to feel drafty and uncomfortable. As cold air is coming in through leaks, warm air is escaping through other leaks. The biggest leaks for escaping air are often found in the attic; floors over garages and recessed lights are common locations. The majority of homes throughout the United States turn over the total volume of air once every hour!
IES Green’s Solution: A blower door and infrared test will measure air leakage and help pinpoint the specific air leak location. Our technician will record the exact locations of problem areas and provide a report and specifics on how to repair the problem. After leaks are sealed, the blower door test is repeated to measure improvement and ensure the repair was done correctly.
High Energy Bills
If you're like most people, your utility bills are becoming a larger and larger part of your monthly expenses. Eventually, we all know the day is coming when energy bills may skyrocket. High energy bills can usually be traced to an inefficient component (windows, heating and cooling equipment, ducts, insulation) of your home or a failure of one of these components to perform as intended. It is not always easy to pinpoint the problem, but fixing it can make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable.
IES Green’s Solution: An IES Green home energy audit will develop a whole-house energy efficiency plan. Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will waste a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not properly sealed and insulated. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely.
Unhealthy Indoor Air
Most people spend a majority of their time in rooms that are full of airborne contaminants. Allergens are much more concentrated in closed-in spaces than outside areas. Chemical odors, pet dander, and mold spores are just a few of the allergens that can affect the health of people, and when these get trapped indoors, they can be five times more concentrated than outdoors. Home performance improvements can go a long way toward minimizing the symptoms of many allergies and even asthma by improving the indoor air quality within your home. The EPA has ranked indoor air quality among the top five environmental threats to human health, and indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air just outside your home.
IES Green’s Solution: An IES energy audit will provide information regarding possible contaminants in your home. Recommendation will be made to improve the air quality, which may include sealing crawl spaces, air sealing the attic, adding an air exchanger, HEPA filtering, and duct work cleaning.
Crawl spaces are a source of unwanted moisture, odors, and possible Radon Gas. Crawl spaces are often misunderstood. In most contexts, crawl spaces are nothing more than a short basement and should be treated as such, especially if you have HVAC ducts or plumbing in them. Encapsulating the floor, sealing the vents, and insulating may be the best solution. In other situations, it may be best to leave the crawl space floor as is, insulate the floor joists, and properly vent the crawl space to the outdoors.
IES Green’s Solution: Our experienced energy professional will be able to quickly assess your crawl space and provide the best and most cost effective solution for you. Typical solutions range from installing an encapsulation system for the floor, air sealing and insulating the rim/band joist area with two-part closed cell spray foam, insulating floor joists with foam or fiberglass, and insulating the walls.
Old, Inefficient Appliances
As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. So making smart decisions about your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills and your comfort. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old, it should be evaluated.
IES Green’s Solution: An IES Green energy audit will determine all improvements required to make your home as comfortable, safe, and energy-efficient as possible. After problems such as air infiltration and poor insulation have been corrected, an update to a high-efficiency HVAC system will maximize your home's comfort and cost-saving energy efficiency.
Leaky HVAC Ductwork
Typical duct systems lose 25 to 40% of the heating or cooling energy put out by the cooling and heating system. Leaks in the duct system -- one way in which conditioned air is lost -- make the HVAC system work harder, thus raising your utility bill. If the duct leakage is 20% of the total air flow, the efficiency of the cooling system can drop by 50%. Heating efficiency is similarly affected. Additional duct leakage can lessen equipment life and endanger your health and safety.
IES Green Solution: An IES Green ductwork blower test will determine if your home's duct system is leaking, and the infrared test will show where the leaks are located. We can then repair the leaks and ensure your ductwork is properly sealed and insulated.
While spots of mold and mildew in your home can be cleansed superficially with soap and water, the only long-term solution is to understand where the mold is coming from and eliminate it at the source. First and foremost, mold needs water in order to survive, so if you have a mold problem, what you likely have is a moisture problem.
IES Green Solution: An IES Green home energy audit will assess potential sources of moisture and determine how best to eradicate them. This can usually be dealt with by a combination of ventilation, dehumidification, and other improvements to the building.
Icicles & Ice Dams
Ice dams sometimes occur on sloping roofs in cold climates with freezing temperatures. When the temperature in your attic is above freezing, usually caused by warm air leaking into the attic from the house and poor insulation, it causes snow on the roof to melt and run down the sloping roof. When the snowmelt runs down the roof and hits the colder eaves, it refreezes and forms icicles and ice dams. Water from ice dams can back up under the roof’s shingles and leak into the ceiling or walls of your home, eventually causing structural damage or leading to mold and mildew problems.
IES Green’s Solution: An IES Green home energy audit will show where the heat loss is occurring and the physical state, condition, and depth of the attic insulation. The use of an infrared camera is an extremely valuable tool in detecting misplaced, damaged, and insufficient attic insulation that a physical examination may not find.
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