DEPENDABLE Energy Efficiency Contractor in New York
Our Energy Efficiency Contractor in New York are specialists who take into account many details of your home, the entire “system”, into consideration when evaluating how well your home performs for energy consumption, the health of occupants and building materials, air quality, and more.
Home Performance evaluations uncover all the conditions in the home that cause undesirable issues like poor health and high energy bills. This “systems” approach to fixing problems in houses is the best method to fix the underlying causes of problems so the issues are gone for good.
Your Home Performance Contractors at Clover Comfort are experts at Smart Energy Renovations and have been providing New York with excellent home performance evaluations for more than two decades. To be an expert, you must be trained in building science, and use the same tools developed by researchers.
Unlike the average contractor, who knows only one trade and rarely understands what another contractor does, Home Performance Contractors provide whole-house service. With our specialized training and advanced equipment, our Energy Efficiency Contractor in New York can see the unique way your house works as a system, pinpoint the cause of problems, and provide lasting solutions.
One of the tests our Energy Efficiency Contractor in New York performs uses a diagnostic tool called a blower door–a fan in an adjustable frame that fits into a doorway. When the fan is running, we can locate air leakage sites throughout the entire house. Our New York HVAC Contractor can help you to be more comfortable, improve your indoor air quality, reduce moisture damage, lower utility bills, and save energy.
Checklist of Problems that can be solved by Our Energy Efficiency Contractor in New York
- peeling paint
- sooty deposits
- a rotting roof
- stuffy air
- hot or chilly rooms
- energy bills
- mold or mildew
- a smokey fireplace
- allergy symptoms
- lingering odors
- ice dams
- foggy windows
- carbon monoxide
Home Performance Contractors analyze the house as an integrated whole. They are trained and equipped to find and fix these problems at the source. Read on to learn more about how your house performs and what a Home Performance Contractor can do to make it work better for you.
Understanding a House as a System
Many homeowners think problems like drafts, mildew, and peeling paint are “normal.” But often these are signs that something in your house is way out of balance. And it’s no wonder, because…
An electronic air filtration system can help your entire system operate more efficiently by reducing dirt and dust build-up on the system’s components. This means lower utility bills. By keeping your system clean, this air cleaner promotes the long-term reliability and peak performance of every component in your heating and cooling system season after season.
A House Is a Complicated System .
Our homes keep changing. We put in new furnaces, air conditioners, and ventilation fans–and the ducts they need to move air in and out of rooms. These change the way air flows throughout the house. We add clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers, computers, more and brighter lights, extra bathrooms, and even spa tubs and tropical aquariums. These produce moisture and heat that most houses were not designed to remove.
And That Can Mean Trouble
Only recently, researchers discovered that all these common household conveniences interact with each other–and with the house–in ways that can cause serious problems. Mold and moisture damage, carbon monoxide poisoning, large energy losses, long-term health effects, and malfunctioning equipment are just a few examples of what can happen.
Researchers also found that problems in one part of the house often originate from surprising sources far away. To identify those sources quickly, they developed new “diagnostic” tools that can examine the entire house as a single, interactive system.
The Source of Problems
Air travels just about everywhere in your house, even where you can’t see it. As air moves about, it carries several hitchhikers in the form of moisture and pollutants. When Home Performance Contractors find the routes air takes, they can solve a number of problems–from drafty rooms, to mold growth, to poor air quality.
You and your family need a continuous supply of fresh air in your home. But uncontrolled air flow can cause drafts, make rooms too hot or too cold, and create serious health hazards. The way air moves in and around your house reveals an awful lot about problems you may have and how they can be fixed.
You may notice unwanted air entering your house around windows and doors. But air also travels through random cracks and holes, under floors, inside walls, and up plumbing and electrical shafts. It’s actually these hidden passageways that are the cause of most drafts and high energy losses in homes.
A chilly bathroom is a typical example. Drafts can be created as air follows the pathway made for pipes from the basement to the bathtub and sink. Cranking up the thermostat or using space heaters to warm the bathroom will just waste money and energy–and never solve the problem.
But air is invisible. Without special equipment, it is impossible to know exactly how and where air is circulating. A Home Performance Contractor uses tools designed to quickly find the leaky passageways in your home.
As holes are sealed, tests can be run to check how work is progressing. When the sealing job is complete, the Home Performance Contractor will run a final test to ensure that your home stays comfortable while getting the proper amount of fresh air when and where you need it.
As air moves through your home, it will also circulate moisture. When moist air comes in contact with a surface cold enough to make it condense–a window, for example–it can cause sashes and sills to decay. But inside walls, or in other places you can’t see, moist air can do even worse structural damage.
Our Home Performance Contractors often trace decaying roofs to warm moist air that has traveled from kitchens and bathrooms in other parts of the house. The vapor moves through wall cavities to the attic, where it condenses when it hits the cool roof sheathing.
Roofers generally look for leaks in the roof to explain the damage. But no matter how much money you spend on roof repairs and waterproofing, this problem will not disappear until moisture from inside the house is prevented from flowing to the attic.
Home Performance Contractors will seal the passageway to the attic and see that moisture is properly vented from the house.
Sealing Air Leaks in the Attic and Wall Cavities.
Most homes have holes, from the size of tiny cracks to large cavities, leading to the attic. These cause drafts, waste energy and often lead to moisture problems. After Home Performance Contractors seal these leaks, they can test the house with a blower door to see that the work was done properly.
Peeling paint is another example of a problem commonly caused by moisture inside the wall cavity. If this is the case, no amount of scraping and repainting will stop the wall from rotting. A Home Performance Contractor has the tools to find the source of the moisture and the know how to direct it safely out of the house.
Mold and Mildew – Excessive moisture in the home can contribute to chronic health problems. High relative humidity feeds the common allergens, mold and mildew. A Home Performance Contractor can test for moisture levels and look for signs of mold growth in places you might never suspect. The source of allergic reactions may be lurking in a bedroom wall or on the floor beneath the carpeting in the living room.
Indoor Air Pollution – Air can carry pollutants as it travels through your home. Pollutants often come from outdoors, but some carpets, furniture, and building materials release noxious gases inside. Without good ventilation, they can be trapped indoors and create health problems for everyone in your family.
Most homes depend on exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove stale air, moisture, and odors. But these fans often fail to do their job, causing indoor air quality to fall below the standards set for a healthy home. A Home Performance Contractor can test your house to see that your air supply is correct, and to make sure that stale, polluted air is being removed at the proper rate.
Carbon Monoxide – If your house has fuel-burning appliances–furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, stoves, and clothes dryers–these will be equipped with exhaust pipes, vents, or chimneys to expel the combustion products produced.
All these combustion appliances need a supply of air in order for fuel to burn. A danger occurs when air pressure drops in a room where one or more of these appliances is located. Low pressure can cause the combustion byproducts, which may contain toxic carbon monoxide, to be sucked down the exhaust pipe back into the home. This condition is called backdrafting.
Testing Combustion Appliances – The rust and debris on top of this water heater are clues that the vent is not exhausting combustion gases properly. But often there are no visible signs of a problem. A Home Performance Contractor uses tools like the combustion analyzer below to test for carbon monoxide and other combustion products.
Home Performance Contractors sometimes find backdrafting in homes where clothes dryers and water heaters are in the same room. When they are running at the same time, they compete for the air around them. The dryer usually wins, pulling contaminated air in from the water heater vent. Sometimes the dryer can even create enough suction to draw the flame from the water heater into the room, causing a fire hazard.
A more noticeable example of backdrafting is a smokey fireplace. A pressure drop in the living room can pull air into the home down through the fireplace chimney, bringing with it soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide.
Home Performance Contractors have the tools and know how to ensure your home meets high indoor air quality standards. They determine if your home is getting enough fresh air, if exhaust fans are working properly, if fumes are entering the home from an attached garage, and if there are any health or safety problems from combustion appliances that may endanger your family.
Heating and Cooling Systems
Checking Heating and Cooling Systems for Safety and Efficiency
For your home to be comfortable and safe, your heating and cooling system should be the right size and in proper working condition. But heating and cooling equipment is often over sized and inefficient, which drives up energy bills.
If rooms are at different temperatures, if the house gets too hot or too cold, if the air is stuffy or feels clammy, then chances are your system needs a check up.
A Home Performance Contractor can test your heating and cooling system to see that it is working properly and not creating any safety problems. A complete evaluation will take into consideration more than the equipment itself. The performance of the equipment is affected by the size of the house, the level of insulation, the amount of window area, and a number of other factors including the type of equipment and the fuel you use.
Homes with forced air heating or cooling systems almost always have leaky ducts. In fact, on average, 25% of the air heated or cooled by the equipment never reaches any of the rooms–even in brand new homes.
As the air spills out into the basement, garage, crawlspace, or attic through leaks in the ducts, you waste energy and money.
Even worse, leaky ducts can pull in nasty pollutants from these areas and deliver them directly into your living space. The most common offenders are pollen, dust, insulation fibers, mold and mildew spores, insecticides, automobile exhaust, and vapors from stored chemicals.
Air blown through ducts is under pressure. That means it can create drafts and uneven temperatures from room to room. But it can also cause combustion appliances to backdraft, bringing carbon monoxide into your home.
Home Performance Contractors use special duct testing equipment to find and measure the level of leaks. They then use a permanent sealant–not duct tape–to repair the leaks. When the holes are all sealed, they test the system, balance the air flow to each room, and check for any health or safety problems.
Tracking Down Duct Leaks. Finding leaky or disconnected ducts behind the drywall can only be done with special equipment. A duct tester (above, left) and a pressure pan (right) are two tools Home Performance Contractors use to locate and measure duct leakage.
Buying New Equipment
It may be time to replace an old heating or air conditioning system. Your Home Performance Contractor will help you choose a unit that is the right size for your home. There is now a good selection of energy-saving high-efficiency units available. For safe operation of fuel-burning appliances, look for direct-vent, sealed combustion models, which avoid the danger of drawing combustion products into the house.
Whether you live in a cold climate or a hot one, insulation is important for keeping your home comfortable. Insulation slows the movement of heat through your walls, floors, and ceilings so that they stay warmer in winter and cooler during the summer. The closer the temperature of these surfaces are to the room temperature you like, the more comfortable you and your family will be.
Energy Efficiency Contractor in New York will check the insulation levels (R-values) in your home to see that they are adequate for your climate. They will also look for poorly installed insulation, which is a common problem even in new houses.
Today there are many types of insulation to choose from–batts, loose fill, rigid board, and expanding spray foam. Our Energy Efficiency Contractor in New York will help you choose what’s best for your needs.
Loose-fill insulation is versatile because it can be blown into walls and hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in addition to attics. It also can be “dense-packed” in closed cavities, where it will seal the area against air leakage.
When a house is insulated properly, not only is it much more comfortable, but it is also quieter. And you’ll most likely see a drop in your energy bills as well.