Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Getting Around to It

[Picture: Tony, Energy Squad, removes a little trim to make room for the weather strip.]

Last night, as I was putting on eighty layers of clothing to head out and watch the Wolves beat the pants off of the Spurs, a cold draft reminded me to call the Energy Squad. Two years ago, they offered to weatherize our front door, but I was hesitant to remove some original wood trim in order to do it. I have since seen the light, literally. For where there is light, there is an energy leak.

Jody and Tony did a beautiful job of weatherstripping the door. They also did me the favor of caulking the gap between the doorframe and the interior wall, a task that's been on the list ever since the energy auditor suggested it years ago. Apparently good intentions are no cure for procrastination. It's perplexing and another reason why the Energy Squad is so valuable, in addition to - of course - measurable outcomes. Their work significantly reduced drafts and raised surface temperatures around the door.

[Picture: Jody, Energy Squad, installs a better fitting door sweep after noticing light peeking over the threshold.]

As for the woodwork that I lost in exchange for energy conservation, I do not miss it. Rightfully, we want to do justice by this old house. But worries over a flimsy piece of wood turned out to be silly. Neatly installing barely noticeable materials, the Energy Squad demonstrated how to have the best of both worlds. In fact, when friends had the same work done on their old door, they had to point it out to me because it blended in so well.

[Picture: The weather strip is hardly noticeable while doing a great job of tightening up some drafty gaps. ]

To satisfy my curiosity, I used a Black & Decker Thermal Heat Detector to take some surface temperatures before and after the improvements. Here's what I found:
AreaBefore AfterChange
Insulated switch cover66.2⁰FNone
Gap between door trim and interior wall63.6⁰F65.3⁰F/caulking+1.7⁰F
Drafty area by lock between door and jamb54.6⁰F58.6⁰F/weatherstripping+4⁰F
Bottom of door51.4⁰F54.3⁰F/door sweep+2.9⁰F

[Picture: Weatherizing the door eliminated drafts and raised the surface temperatures.]

In addition to improved surface temperatures, drafts went from being very noticeable to not noticeable to the touch. This will greatly improve the comfort of our home.

The coming of a new year brings forth a lot of promises about getting around to it. With the Energy Squad serving the Twin Cities area, getting around to some simple energy conservation updates is effortless, inexpensive and quite satisfying. To make an appointment and to learn more about their services, see The Neighborhood Energy Connection website.

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