Weatherization FAQs Be Green. Live Better!

Windows FAQs

  • Q:Does energy conservation increase health risks in my home by tightening and sealing it up?

    A:No. Energy conservation is designed to identify and resolve all health and safety risks in the home prior to air sealing and insulation. Improving energy efficiency in one’s home actually improves indoor air quality and makes your home healthier, safer, and more comfortable.

  • Q:What are the most common health or safety problems in homes and how does energy conservation address them?

    A:Carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper venting of heaters, water heaters, gas stoves, unvented space heaters, “fake fireplaces”, and other combustion devices are probably the most common health and safety problem. The problem with carbon monoxide (CO) is that it is an odorless, colorless gas. Many people suffering from CO poisoning think they have the flu or chronic headaches. CO poisoning is especially dangerous for the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. During the Energy Assessment, a trained, BPI certified auditor will test every combustion appliance. If elevated CO levels are found, the homeowner will be advised immediately to turn the appliance off and contact a repair contractor. Another surprisingly common problem is gas leaks, especially in older homes. Tiny gas leaks can be caused simply over time from a sagging pipe, a loose fitting, or other related problems. These leaks can also escape detection for years. Gas leaks will also be eliminated prior to energy conservation treatment. Cold and drafty homes are the results of infiltration or insufficient insulation. Accordingly, weatherization improvements result in warmer and less drafty homes during the winter months and can lead to fewer colds and illnesses. Lead-based paint is also common in older homes. Since the EPA now requires that all weatherization providers be trained and certified in Lead Safety, homeowners will receive a booklet of information on the hazards of lead-based paint. Moisture and mildew can be a problem in both new and older homes. The source of these problems could be as obvious as a roof leak or a more difficult to identify. The auditor will help to identify both the source and the solution to these problems prior to air sealing.

  • Q:What if I have a problem with pests such as spiders, cockroaches, or mice?

    A:Air sealing is an excellent solution to this problem. By sealing cracks and holes, particularly in the basement, passageways used by unwanted insects or rodents are permanently sealed.

  • Q:Is there such a thing as making a house too tight?

    A:If you tighten your house beyond the optimum range, you will need to add mechanical ventilation such as a fan or a Recovery Ventilator (HRV/ERV). BPI certified auditors perform Blower Door tests to check the air tightness of your home after energy conservation treatments and measure the air leakage rate. In the unlikely event that the home has been tightened beyond the optimum range, the auditor will advise the homeowner that mechanical ventilation is recommended or in extreme cases must be installed.

  • Q:What other issues do weatherization procedures address?

    A:Weatherization procedures also address other hazards including asbestos, mold, toxic chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), combustible products, and humidity levels.

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