The Creamer Family: Client Goes the Extra Mile to Make Home Energy Efficient
A 5,700 square foot home on the fringe of Roanoke provided a welcome opportunity for energy efficiency. This 1992, all-electric structure was built with two heat pump systems. The performance of the HVAC ducts and water heater were poor and attic and basement insulation minimal. Although the forced air system provided adequate heat, the air conditioning was only average. Utilizing blower door technology, the energy audit indicated air leakage of the home to be three times greater than normal. This is equivalent to almost a 3 foot square hole. Our crews noted a lack of insulation in many areas, unsealed supply vents and a dirt crawlspace.
This large, rambling home was insulated to Energy Star Standards by the retrofit crew. They targeted accessible attics, the underside of the main level floor, hot water lines and refrigerant lines at exterior compressor units. Air sealing was performed between the attic and living spaces below and around recessed can lights, flashing and dropped soffits. A vapor barrier was installed in the crawl space and weather stripping applied to exterior windows and doors.
Solar panels were installed on a southwest facing slope near the home. A half acre of mature trees were removed to provide adequate sunlight for the 5 kilowatt array.
The energy efficiency measures provided a more comfortable and healthy home for the Creamer family, as well as significant savings in home energy bills. Work was completed in accordance with cafe2 and Energy Performance Score Guidelines, and the homeowner noticed an immediate improvement.
The projection of return
The Creamer Family can anticipate more than $3600 per year in annual energy savings. A ROI of 13.7% a year is expected and the investment will be paid off in seven years. The energy efficiency improved by 62% due to air sealing measures and the addition of solar panels. Because of these efforts, the home’s value has increased and the improved Energy Performance Score will be part of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), should the client want to sell the home.