Epiphanies are those “AHA!” moments where the stars align, the clouds break open, and worldly order is restored. They can happen anywhere: in the grocery store, at the bank, crash landed on a deserted island (Example: “I shouldn’t have bought my plane ticket from Penguin Airlines!”). Penguins are flightless birds, for those who don’t know.
For Pound Ridge resident Peter Clough, his epiphany came at a home energy forum in 2012. Mr. Clough’s presence at the forum, organized by the Town of Pound Ridge, already speaks volumes about his interest not only in sustainability, but in sheer common sense. The forum delivered the final push, showing that sometimes it takes only the tiniest push to make things click, to turn casual contemplation into reality, to experience the inspiration you’ve hoped would come again.
Convinced, Mr. Clough decided to have a comprehensive home energy assessment completed by one of the contractors recommended by Energize Pound Ridge. His home he surmised, a 3,860 square foot Colonial built nearly a half-century ago, would benefit greatly from an energy renovation. Compelled by the forum, Mr. Clough grasped that the probability of energy waste in his home was high, and carried with it onerous economic implications.
When homes lack proper insulation, they cease to be boxes and instead become sieves, porous containers that leak inside air out, and outside air in. You may be thinking “Great! Now the birds, bees, and all other manner of woodland creatures can enjoy my air conditioning with me, and the world will be a happier place!” I need you to banish these ideas from your mind. Trust me; your wallet and the environment will thank you for it.
Mr. Clough clearly recognized his insulation deficiency. Following approval for the assessment, he contacted Bruni and Campisi, a contracting company recommended by the Energize NY program. They confirmed Mr. Clough’s suspicions about his home, and illuminated several potential areas of improvement such as insulating along rim joists and in the gable walls, and employing standard air sealing measures throughout the house. Mr. Clough chose to utilize these measures, creating, as he put it, “a tighter house, lower energy bills, and more even room temperature in a draft free environment.”
Mr. Clough’s valuation shows both the qualitative and quantitative benefits of home energy assessments. Reducing drafts and balancing room temperature generates a more comfortable, healthy home for residents, while also creating quantifiable progress within the household. Air leakage, measured in Cubic Feet per Minute at negative 50 pascals (CFM50) decreased from 2550 to 2200 following the renovation. Yet, perhaps more importantly, this reduction contributed to the significant volume of savings experienced by the Clough household. After implementing the recommended upgrades, Mr. Clough cut his fuel oil consumption by 32%, a tremendous reduction that will shrink the payback period for the renovation costs! The heightened physical comfort of the home, tangible in the immediacy for the Clough family, will be accompanied by a fiscal comfort as well, in the very near future!