Home Problems

Drafty Rooms

Problem: Air sneaking in through inconspicuous areas like the attic, recessed lights, outlets, and corner gaps & cracks, as well as the more obvious windows and doors, make your home drafty and chilly. Warm air is also being lost. The cumulative effect of these hidden air leaks can equal the loss through an open door!

Solution: Air sealing stops drafts, reduces gas/electric heating and AC bills, and makes you more comfortable. EcoHome Solutions examines your entire home for air leaks (including often overlooked areas hidden in attics, basements, and crawlspaces), properly seals ducts and holes, and makes sure your combustion appliances are venting properly.

High Energy Bills

Problem: Inefficient windows, malfunctioning HVAC systems, problems in ductwork, and inadequate insulation and sealing all contribute to higher energy bills.  The average heating bill in the Boise area is around $700 for a 1700 square foot home with a maximum bill of $120 in December or January.  It is not uncommon to find homes so inefficient that they are paying 3 or 4 times more for heat than necessary.

Solution: An EcoHome Solutions complete home energy retrofit increases the energy efficiency of your home and will lower your utility bills by at least 30%.  The more your heating costs are over the average, the greater the potential energy savings.  Our state-of-the-art diagnostic tools such as a blower door and infrared camera can quantify and pinpoint the inefficiencies in your home.   Our home evaluation is comprehensive and is conducted by a certified energy professional.

Leaky Ductwork

Problem: The typical house with forced air heating and cooling loses about 20 percent of the air through leaks, holes, and disconnections in the duct work. Our diagnostic equipment is often unable to get a reading on homes in Boise’s North End because there is so much leakage in the ducts. No matter how the thermostat is set, these homeowners struggle with keeping the house comfortable and pay high utility bills.

Solution: A duct system that is well-designed and properly sealed can make your home more comfortable, energy efficient, and safe. EcoHome Solutions helps you achieve comfort, savings and safety by ensuring your ductwork is sealed, insulated (attics and crawlspace), and appropriately sized. Your home’s heating and cooling systems will work efficiently and air flow will be optimized.

Rooms that are too hot or too cold

Problem: Slight temperature differences from room to room are not uncommon, but often one or more rooms in your home are uncomfortably warm in the summer or too cold in the winter. As we enter summer, many homeowners really feel the heat upstairs or in a bonus room. They try fans, they crank the AC up, but the main level turns freezing cold and the upstairs is still hot. There is better way that does not involve more AC and wasting energy.

Solution: Although every home is different; the most common problem is air leaking in the unseen areas of the attic, wall cavities and crawl space. The sun bakes the roof of your home and by noon the temperature in the attic can be 120 degrees or more. The hot air in the attic builds pressure and will push into the living space if it can. The 120 degree air flows through the wall cavities heating some areas of the interior walls to over 100 degrees as it flows and eventually comes out along the baseboard or another inconspicuous area. Hot air infilltrating the uppder half of the home will push the cooler air out on the lower part of the home.

We can lower the temperature of the attic through proper ventilation and radiant barriers and reduce the flow of air in and out by air sealing the critical junctures in the home. Not only will your upstairs be more comfortable, but you’re home will be much more energy efficient saving an average of 30% on your heating and cooling bills.

Dust and Pollutants

Problem:  EPA studies indicate that the air in most homes is actually much worse than the air outside the home.  If all of the leaks, gaps and holes in the envelope of the home were combined, they typical home would have a hole the size of an open window or open door.  Moisture, radon and other soil gases will move through soil into the crawlspace.  Without a good air barrier around your home and controlled ventilation, dust, dirt, odors, soil gases and other pollutants travel through your home, aggravating health problems for everyone in your family – including asthma, allergies, and cold symptoms.

Solution:  Tighten the envelope of the home through air sealing to ensure there is a good air barrier to keep dust and pollutants out of the home.  Install an airtight polyethylene barrier in the crawl space to prevent moisture, radon and other gases form migrating into the home.  Add mechanical ventilation so the house can have a controlled supply of fresh air without compromising efficiency.  Lastly, test the combustion appliances (furnace, hot water heater and gas range)  to ensure they are venting correctly.

Old Appliances

old appliancesProblem: Old and inefficient appliances can cause a variety of comfort, health and safety, financial, and environmental problems. Old appliances can leak carbon monoxide and other dangerous gasses. Inefficient appliances can decrease comfort, increase energy usage, and make your utility bills skyrocket.

Solution: EcoHome Solutions can help you determine if you need new, high efficiency units to replace your aging and inefficient furnace, boiler, or air-conditioner. We determine and install a properly-sized unit, and make sure the air flows correctly and is evenly distributed throughout the house. Often, if we do replace a unit, it is usually smaller because the rest of the house is so efficient. This is very cost-effective for you. We’ll also test your combustion equipment, such as the furnace, boiler, and hot water heater to ensure they are operating safely and efficiently. When all these systems are balanced correctly, temperatures are more consistent, comfort is increased, and overheating is reduced, resulting in energy savings. There may also be tax credit savings with your new equipment.

Ice Dams/Icicles

Problem: Warm air inside your home leaks through the attic to the underside of the roof which melts the snow, runs down and refreezes. This will damage your roof and could even lead to water damage inside the home. Most homeowners assume there is little to be done except for add an electric heating element to the roof or build a second roof over the first.

Solution: Improved insulation and air sealing by Ecohome Solutions can solve the problem (warm air escaping your home) while saving energy and maintaining the aesthetic appearance of the home.

Radon Mitigation

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that comes from the ground through rocky soil.  Health officials have determined that radon gas is a carcinogen causes 16,000 lung cancer deaths per year.

There are 4 strategies for radon mitigation.

1. Install a plastic air tight barrier with carefully sealed seams in the crawlspace.
2. Air seal the crawlspace area to ensure the crawlspace air is separated from the living space to help minimize air infiltration from the crawl space area.
3. Ventilating the crawl space to dilute the radon.
4. Depressurizing the crawlspace.

Ecohome Solutions is will use the first three strategies for low level radon (under 20;C/l).  Over 20Pc/l and a specialist should be used to install sub-depressurization system.  Care should be taken with these systems as they could depressurize an area with a furnace or hot water heater and cause back drafting.  In addition, depressurization will likely lead to decreased energy efficiency.  The measure should only be taken for high levels of radon.  Please contact us if you have any concerns about back drafting your combustion appliances.