1980s Colonial Style - Columbia, MD
Reason for this Customer Getting the BGE Energy Audit
The family learned about the program from a friend and after twenty years of suffering, they finally made a move to see if they could figure it out.
General Profile - 1980s Columbia Colonial
Columbia, MD 1980s Colonial Style with Electric Heat Pump
Year Built: 1980s
Common Insulation Challenges: Sloped ceilings present accessibility challenges in some models, basements are mostly finished yielding few little opportunity for improvements
HVAC Ducts: Ducts are often times inside the envelope with small sections running through the attic which create large openings at the attic floor that can easily be sealed
Unique Features: Often times these homes have cantilevered rear kitchens and cantilevered bay windows.
Homeowner Takeaways from this Columbia BGE Energy Audit
The sloped ceiling in the master bedroom creates a knee wall in the attic that must get good insulation.
The family finally learned the reason for their cold winter mornings in the kitchen.
This family learned that simply looking in the attic and seeing insualation does not necessarily mean that you are fully protected from the outside!
Long-Term Problems if Left Unchecked
HVAC will have to run much longer shortening lifespan.
Comfort around the home suffers and different areas of the home only get used during certain times of the year.
More room for insect intrusion and other unwanted pests when gateways to the outside from the inside exist.
Higher energy bills that will not amount to better comfort.
Poor decision making on how to fix (buy new HVAC, purchase new windows)
Bumping out the kitchen on the back of the house with cantilevered construction is classic in this style home.
Reference photo for the kitchen bump out problem.
Rear kitchen bump out overhang are seen a lot in 1980s Columbia MD homes.
Uninsulated attic access hatches are big problems in all houses.
Overhangs (cantilevers) are key contributors to uncomfortable kitchens during extreme days.
Blower door results can be compared to similar style homes. It can be used as a guide and the actual test must be done for complete accuracy.
How an energy audit typically helps a homeowner with this type of home:
-Although the home was built in the 80s, if insulation has gone untouched it is likely way under-insulated.
-This customer realized that sealing the top of the house, rather than the side of the house would help much more - relating to his own experience of building fires in his childhood wood fireplace.
Building Performance Institute
BGE Approved Energy Contractor