Smart home improvement

February 21st, 2009 § 6 comments

Our home is expensive to heat. Not only is that, but it feels drafty. We were convinced that our main heating problems were the Windows in our family room (where the thermostat is) – all were replaced without any effect.

Annoyed, we needed to find a way to pinpoint our homes problems. We turned to Thermal Imaging by Northwest Infrared to help us understand the problems. I am very impressed and highly recommend their service. I believe this is the single best thing that can be done to your home. It is inexpensive and pinpoints phantom energy loss. Northwest Infrared only does energy evaluation – you’ll get brutally honest information without the sales pitch.

Thermal analysis is a two step process:

  1. Depressurize the home taking accurate barometric measurements to determine how much leakage there is.
  2. Use a thermal imager to see where cold air is leaking into the home.

Common Problems

Attic access not sealed well:

Pipe cutouts are huge openings to the crawl space:

Downdraft vent in the cooktop isn’t sealed or baffled:

Return air vent uses the floor joists instead of being ducted – drawing lots of air from the ‘area between floors’

– And in our case those floor joists are open to the outside!

Check out this ghostly image:

Our Unique Problems

Our new windows weren’t sealed correctly (you can bet we’ll be bringing that up with Anderson Renewable):


Our vents aren’t sealed correctly:

Our worst offender is our heating room which is open to the crawl space. This room is essentially outside, but not insulated like it is an inside closet:

Just a dog



I took some video during the process:

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