Energy Assessment

Infrared Camera Inspection • Identify Air Leaks • Check for Mold • Identify Ventilation Issues •Roof Stains •Rafter Sag • Excessive Heat • Soffit Ventilation • Rusty Roofing Nails •Excessive Humidity • Even Distribution of Insulation • Skylight Wells Uninsulated • Heating or Air Conditioning Ducts •Exhaust Fans • Rodents or Nesting

Infrared Thermal Imaging

With infrared thermal imaging cameras, our technician can graphically display and photograph the insulation levels and cold or hot spots within your walls, ceiling, floors without creating any holes. Most people are amazed when they see a vivid image of where they are missing insulation and what that does for heat loss in the winter or heat gain in the summer. Making the invisible visible. 

Minimum Ventilation Requirements (MVR): In order to maintain acceptable indoor air quality, some fresh air is required. In leaky homes this is easily accomplished through the building shell. However, for especially tight houses mechanical ventilation is required. Typical standards require that air leakage provides either 15 CFM per person or 0.35 ACHn, whichever is greater.

Thermal imaging helps to diagnose the problem rather than merely identify symptoms,  identify and document: Electrical faults before they cause a fire, overloaded and undersized circuits, circuit breakers in need of immediate replacement, missing, damaged, and/or wet insulation, heat loss and air infiltration in walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, water and moisture intrusion that could lead to mold, possible pest infestation, roof leaks, before they cause serious damage, air conditioner compressor leaks, under fastening and/or missing framing members, structural defects, broken seals in double pane windows, energy loss and efficiency issues, dangerous flue leaks, damaged and/or malfunctioning radiant heating systems, unknown plumbing leaks, and overheated equipment. These color images can then be included in your IR inspection report providing supporting documentation to the report. This the imaging technique is a powerful and noninvasive means of monitoring and diagnosing the condition of buildings. IR inspections can provide immediate documentation of as-built & post-restoration conditions, post-damaged material assessment, energy inefficiency, and electrical problems. Typically, moisture on building materials will evaporate and cool by as much as 39 degrees Fahrenheit. A wet spot (when observed with infrared camera) is clearly visible as a distinct cool spot.

 

Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 1

Corner wall had a major air infiltration, can be solved by insulating all exterior walls with blow in cellulose under high presure.

Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 2

Ifrared image discoverd missing chimney insulation, air seal and blow in rookwool was recomended.

Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 3

Infrared image help discovered bad weatherstrip which was replaced by Green Attic Insulation.

Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 4

Infrared image of missing wall insulation and cold air infitration by outlets, Green Attic did blow in cellulose dense pack and foam aroun outlets.

Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 5

Pull-down ladder had litle to no R-value, and allowed warm moist air to escape in to the attic, Green Attic built a 12 inch wall with a R-39 insulated plywood door on top.

Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 6

Rim joist cold air infiltrating infrared image Green Attic needs fiberglass removal and insert foam boards and seal with foam.

Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 7
Green Attic Energy Audit March 2021

Blower Door Test
$149 up to 3000 sqFt Or
Free Only Infrared home Inspection

An energy assessment includes a blower door test and infrared scan which gives homeowners a whole house  understanding of air movement. By using this method we will help determine areas where heated air escapes or radiate in the summertime. Because a blower door uses a fan to create negative pressure in your house or slightly depressurize the house, outside air is pulled in through gaps, making them easier to find with our infrared cameras.

A blower door test is a standard measure of the leakiness of the house to air. This air infiltration accounts for as much as 40% of the cost of space heating for old, leaky houses. 

The blower door test allows us to:

  • Measure the air leakage compared to other homes at 50 Pa.
  • Take accurate infrared pictures. Due to negative pressure, we can detect not only air infiltration but also air leaks that normally may be heated or cooled by the interior air.
  • Find the worst air leaks so that they can be sealed.
  • Calculate the minimum ventilation levels, as each home needs some ventilation and fresh air for good indoor air quality.
  • Recommend action for improvements. Provide an estimate for the services we offer specific to results such as insulation, air sealing, bathroom exhaust fans to roof etc. 

The blower door equipment blows air out of the house and depressurizes the house to 50 Pascals (Pa) relative to the outside, and measures the airflow through the blower door fan required to maintain this level. This is the amount of air leaking into the house through gaps, cracks, joints, or directly through some materials. The pressure 50 Pa is equal to 0.2 inches of the water column, or about 0.007225 psi, roughly the pressure exerted by a moderately strong wind blowing against the house.

Several forces drive the air movement through the building shell:

Stack effect: Warm air is less dense than cool air, and naturally tends to rise in the house (just as a hot air balloon rises), while cooler air falls. This rising warm air creates increased air pressure at the higher levels of the house, and the warm air is forced out of the house through any openings. This forces cooler air to be drawn into the house at lower levels. The stack effect pressures are greatest at the highest and lowest points in the building. Therefore, a hole in the basement or attic will allow more air infiltration than an equal-sized hole near the middle of the house.

Wind pressure: Wind blowing against a wall creates an area of high pressure, driving outdoor air into the windward side of the home. The wind creates a low-pressure area at wall and roof surfaces parallel to its flow, and the leeward side, facing away from the wind, is usually either neutral or depressurized, allowing air from the house to escape.

Chimney and exhaust pressures: Chimneys, exhaust fans, and clothes dryers create a slight depressurization in the house because they exhaust air out of the building. In many cases, this can’t be avoided, of course. However, gas-burning appliances that are sealed combustion avoid much of the chimney pressures because they use outside air for combustion and vent the combustion gases through sealed vents. These appliances don’t rely on any air from inside the house to create the draft necessary to vent dangerous combustion gases to the outside.

Duct pressure: The furnace or A/C blower circulates air through the system’s supply and return ducts. If the ducts are leaking, or if return air (air meant to return to the blower to continue the cycle) is restricted, rooms may have a high positive or negative pressure, which can help to drive air through the building shell. These pressures are often large enough to double or triple the building shell’s air leakage compared to when the blower is off.

Test Data: The measurement obtained from the test is the flow rate in cubic feet per minute (CFM) at 50 Pa of pressure. This is the CFM50. Using this value, along with the calculated volume of the house, the Air Changes per Hour rate is calculated at 50 Pa of pressure (ACH50). Then, using well-established formulas, an estimation of the natural air changes per hour is given. These formulas take into account the average temperatures and wind speeds in an area (colder and windier areas allow more air leakage), the building’s height (a taller building allows more leakage), and the shielding of the building against the wind (the better the shielding the less wind and then the less air leakage). The natural air change rate is denoted by ACHn or just ACH. For example, an ACH of 0.5 means that every hour 50% of the air in the house is changed due to air infiltration. Of course, this air coming in must be heated by your furnace or boiler.

Energy Assessment
Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 8

Green Attic has found the most common deficiencies are already visible without a blower door test and thermal imager. The thermal imager will confirm to our eyes what we are already feeling. The thermal imager will confirm unintentional gaps in the pressure barrier ( air barrier or building envelope).

Two proven facts, where there is air infiltration / heat escape, there is cobwebs / and or cracked caulk and paint around cometic seams. The caulk or paint is the last line of defense against air intrusion, and due to temperature differences, it is inevitable. Visit after visit, house after house, same indicators, same information, same proof.

Green Attic starts with an exterior property walk. We locate impactful unintentional gaps in the building envelope. Example, window frame to siding / brick not caulked. Sometimes it is missing, sometimes it is cracked, sometimes it is poorly applied / partially applied. The resulting air intrusion comes through the path of least resistance ( think water / energy ) such as wall outlets and most commonly base shoe / baseboard trim.

Sealing the rim joist / top plate
Leslie H. Glenview, IL
Leslie H. Glenview, IL
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We can't say enough about this company!!! We had a wonderful experience with them! We originally called them out because we were having a problem with mice entering our crawl space and were not convinced that the proposals received from other contractors would actually solve our problem. James, from Green Attic, looked at our crawl space and immediately proposed a solution that made sense and was affordable. His solution, sealing and insulating the rim joist, would not only keep out the mice but make our home more energy efficient. Green Attic professionals are knowledgeable and thorough. Consequently, James also took a look at our attic and noted that we had old, insufficient insulation up there, along with more mice. He provided a separate proposal on the attic work and informed us that we were eligible for a Nicor Gas rebate on the project. We agreed to complete both the crawl space and attic projects, which required that disinfectant be sprayed, first, because of the presence of the mice. Green Attic pleasantly accommodated our request to use an organic disinfectant and did not upcharge us for its use. The services were completed in an entire day, with three crews, and everyone wore masks (it was during COVID-19). The crew foreman checked in with me as the work was performed. I was impressed with their thoroughness and clean up. The work was meticulously performed. There was a slight mishap when one worker slipped on a joist in the attic and his foot made a hole in my living room ceiling, but the company sent out a plasterer and rectified this problem within a day or so. Tim, one of the managers, returned a few weeks later to test for any air leaks in our home and discovered a couple of areas in our basement that could benefit from additional insulation, some that were even outside of the crawl space where the original work was located. A small crew came back out, with no additional charge, to fix the section of our crawl space that still needed to be sealed. They forgot to insulate the areas outside of the crawl that he noted, so Tim made an extra trip back out to weather strip our basement door and insert rockwool where there were gaps in our HVAC ducts and mechanicals. Amazing! Our home is quite noticeably warmer this winter and there are no more mice!!!! All in all, I have not recently encountered comparable customer service from any company that I have worked with, in a very long time. This is the way all customers should be treated. Thank you, Green Attic for your excellent workmanship and service! I highly recommend using this company!
	 Skip T. Chicago, IL 	2/13/2021
Skip T. Chicago, IL 2/13/2021
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Long story short, my insulation needs were unexpected and came at the worst possible time weather wise. After doing some preliminary research, I reached out to Green Attic and am very happy I did. David was on top of my issues right away, despite the fact they were busy, and provided a bevy of helpful information that made me feel confident (during a difficult time) to move forward. Pricing was incredibly reasonable, and David was patient as variables (like the number of recessed lights that needed to be air sealed) kept changing. On my install date, the Romulo and his team arrived at the time I was told they would, and worked a very long day to ensure I'd be fully insulated by the evening (and below zero temps). SIDE NOTE: If you are buying an older home (bungalow, American four square, etc.), PLEASE consider getting a supplemental environmental inspection. The previous owners of the home I purchased purposely hid asbestos that was both in the attic and all over the HVAC system. We had an exposure event at the house when it poured through the ceiling of my daughter's room and got into the HVAC system, and because it wasn't covered by insurance the cost to remediate and re-insulate was all out of pocket (plus I had to throw away thousands of dollars worth of furniture, carpet, clothes, toys, bedding, etc.). David and his team were very understanding of my situation and a bright light during a very dark time.
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A home energy audit is a wonderful thing. So valuable. But who does them, and how do we know if they are going to use it to highlight a product they partner with or sell? Green Attic customers have expressed difficulty finding reliable answers and great, honest, knowledgable auditors. They are out there, but there are very few. We are one of them. 

An energy audit generally consists of air leakage detection and identification, insulation evaluation, house heating system evaluation, water heating evaluation, appliance evaluation, computer and electronics evaluation, doors and windows, evaluation, lighting evaluation, personal habits, blower door test for CFM and ACH, and a summary report.

Green Attic focuses on the customers concern, the reason for the call, so the general items listed on a typical audit may or may not take center stage during the audit. The homeowner relies on us to direct the conversation towards truth, fact based building science, and energy conservation.

Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 9
blower door test how stuff works green attic insulation
Energy Assessment - Free Inspection 10

Green Attic will calculate the sq ft of the home and volume ( cubic ft volume) and determine the ACH ( air exchange per hour). This is a valuable number for new construction / remodel as is is most commonly required to be at 4.0 in order to receive occupancy permit.

Additionally, Green Attic will take a CFM (cubic feet per minute) reading to measure how many cubic feet ( about a basketball in size) of air is being drawn through the blower door test fan while depressurizing the home to 50Pa ( pascals). Most homes in the Chicagoland area which have average deficiencies test between 8-12 ACH. With 4.0 being the baseline for occupancy of a new home, we are 2-3 times leakier than intended, translation to 2-3 times less comfortable, 2-3 times higher heating and cooling costs, but that is subject to other relative variables such as insulation, building construction methods and materials and more.

  •  will locate gaps between building materials such as siding to foundation, window frame to window, facia to brick, and more. These gaps are unintentional, treatable, and highly impactful in reducing a series of resulting problems such as air quality, uncomfortable rooms, higher than neighbors heating and cooling costs, and more.
  • can target exact location of air intake from the exterior and recommend a treatment solution for exterior sealing. We can prioritize treatment, and create an action plan with prices and individual line items for treatment. Some items can be performed by our attic insulation team, while others require a handyman, painter, siding contractor, or another specialist in the respected field.
  •  will walk the home under normal living conditions, and measure ductwork vent delivery temperatures. We may find a leaky duct or poor pressure or temperatures to conditioned air supply in a particular space. We may find significant gaps along the baseboard. We may find obvious heat escape such as can lights that have no AT rating, and usually, there will be corresponding cobwebs. We may find heat escape from top plates ( bypass between framing top plate and drywall seam).
  • will locate unintentional air leakage and provide a solution. There are many variables to air sealing, both interior and exterior products, and application methods. For example, if the floors are wood and the trim is white ( common decorating style 2010- present) clear caulk will be used on that seam, while the seam between the base shoe and base trim will be white caulk.

 

“Here at Green Attic Insulation , we know time is money, which is why we aim to provide the most amount of truthful accurate informative relative information to you in the easiest to understand possible way. That’s why we provide attic insulation consultations in house or over the phone, helping you to pinpoint the major points of heat transfer out of your home and identifying unintentional air leakage. We help you to properly seal and insulate your home so your bill reflects immediate savings. Best of all, you and your family can enjoy nice, cozy, and warm home.”