Cold spots in a home, room-to-room temperature differences, allergic reactions and more—the uncomfortable home can range from a small annoyance to a huge problem, and one that many people simply end up living with.
“They say, ‘This is just part of this house,’” says Thoren Rogers, Barron Heating Building Performance Division Manager. “They don’t know there are solutions that potentially aren’t even difficult.”
In fact, there are many things homeowners do regularly without realizing the problems they’re causing in their homes.
First, let’s get into a little bit of building science.
Your house has two barriers around it: air and thermal. The air barrier, in most homes, is the paint covering the outside; the thermal barrier is formed by insulation.
These barriers are key to energy efficiency and comfort—but leaks occur in every home, from ducts that aren’t sealed properly and around electrical sockets and can lights, to name just a few examples.
This can cause improper air pressurization in a home, creating uneven heating and cooling and/or poor air quality.
Consider an example of a cold-air complaint in a home during the winter, when the furnace is running.
“If this air barrier plane is not intact and causes, for instance, a lot of leakage in a room upstairs, downstairs will have a cold room,” says Rogers. “It’s drawing in this cold air, and being let out up top.”
Barron Heating can search for and seal those leaks, putting a stop to the cold spots and improving air quality.
Because every house is different, the problems and their solutions differ. But Barron’s team is highly trained in home performance and can pinpoint and eliminate trouble spots.
Barron’s Chris Baisch shares an anecdote about a recent customer’s experience.
“We had a woman contact us who had suffered from skin rashes for 15 years and had a concern about air quality and odor in her home,” he recounts. A home performance assessment showed that the home’s ducts had been leaking the equivalent of 450 5-gallon buckets of air every single minute.
Leaky ducts draw breathing air from the crawl space, attic, or other areas where the air quality is, well, not optimal.
“We went out and sealed her ducts using AeroSeal—an aerosol based duct sealant,” says Baisch. “And when we were done, the leakage was down to just 37 ‘buckets.’ That’s a monstrous improvement.”
Barron made this simple fix and three weeks later, her rash was completely gone.
“Now, that’s a one-off; each house is different your results may not be the same,” says Baisch. “But this is the logical first step when we come into a home with air quality problems.”
Barron wasn’t done yet. This same customer’s home also had a bit of odor from poor air quality, so they adjusted the home’s pressure by installing an energy efficient fan that always runs and pushes everything that had been coming into the home—outdoor allergens, wildfire smoke or particles from inside the walls and such—to the outside.
“We’re going to try one thing, because it’s our best measure based on what we see after inspecting at a home,” says Rogers. “We make a list of possible solutions to the unique problem and prioritize it, knowing it can sometimes be a process of building one measure on another to get to that final solution.”
“And if we’re wrong,” Baisch says, “we’ll go back and do the next thing on the list and if the previous measure doesn’t contribute to the ultimate goal – we credit that portion—because we are the pros and we have a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.”
Rogers interjects, smiling: “I’ve never found a problem we haven’t been able to fix.”
Schedule a no-obligation home assessment with a Barron Heating Home Performance Expert. Let them put their diagnostics tools and training to work to help you understand what’s happening in your home and what can be done to improve it.