Thursday, February 17, 2011

Plenty of Fresh Air

“(Jesus answered) ‘The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or were it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’” John 3:8

Ok, so sometimes I joke about being an Indian and being entitled to free stuff like casino winnings and bricks of cheese, but today they gave me something I thought was pretty cool.

The Cherokee Tribe is offering a free home energy audit to any tribal member living within the Cherokee Nation, and since that’s me and I have a drafty house, I signed up.

Two guys came today and put what looked like a parachute with a hole for a fan in my door and then hooked the fan up with some sensors and stuff and then turned it all on. Then the guys walked around my house with an infrared camera and the air leaks started showing up like crazy.

Now, where would you suppose they were?

If you’re like me, you’ve suspected your windows for years. I suspect mine more because they are ugly, dirty, old aluminum windows that small insects like to live in, and I would like to have something new, white and more vinyl-like without the perpetual cobwebs.

Well, windows won’t do me any good! My windows are for the most part fine!

It’s my baseboard and trim work to blame, or lack of insulation behind such, coupled with a ginormous straight-shot opening to the attic over my downstairs heater and hot water tank. When he opened the closet it was like he stepped into a wind tunnel. Pink insulation was sucked down from the attic and flew all over the one guy’s face.

Occupational hazard, I suppose.

I offered a paper towel.

I’ll be getting a written report with pictures in the future, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be forgetting the black streaks of the air leaks on the infrared camera coming up from behind my couch, the fireplace, gaps in the closet, gaps in door trim filtering down from the inside walls…

All very fascinating stuff!

Their scale was 1 to 10 with 10 being a “leaky” house. Mine scored a 14! But they said mine was considered a “maintenance” home where most of the leaks could be corrected with caulk, or weather stripping, or spray foam. I believe the one guy said, “A couple of CASES of caulk and you’ll be good to go.”

A one hour test offers months and months of work and entertainment!  The honey-do list just got a LOT longer!

The Cherokees are even nice enough to offer free caulk, weather stripping, and spray foam, but you have to drive to Tahlequah to get it, so I think I’ll be opting for the local home improvement store.

So, me and the house have something in common. There’s always a lot of hot air blowing around. Ha!

Anyway, if you qualify, I would encourage you to take advantage of this program. Here’s the info link: Cherokee Home Energy Audit Program.  They even said they would come back out and test it again after we make improvements and that the goal was to get us between a 4 and a 6 on their scale. And even if you’re not Indian, you might check to see if there are Home Energy Auditors in your area. They said their average customer, after making improvements, saved $300 per year.

I’m thinking by the time they come back, I’ll have one arm like Popeye from all the caulking!

Hope you’re having a wonderful day today and that your house isn’t too drafty!

I’m off to do one-armed push-ups as training for the Caulk Olympics…


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