Blog by All-Star Home Inspection Services LLC.

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Customer Story of the Month

Customer Story of the Month 

Last week, I was called by a customer in the rural area of Tracy who wanted to know about our energy auditing services.   He complained that he was spending over $700.00 a month for PG&E utilities and that the heating and cooling of his house were the main cause of his high energy bills.  He told me that didn’t want to spend $20,000.00 to upgrade his HVAC system, and asked what else he could do.  We talked for awhile about the different features of his house, the types of windows, the insulation levels, the types of lighting and appliances, the HVAC system, and of course the duct system.  He scheduled for me to test for leakage in the ducting system the very next day. 

One of the first things that I noticed when walking into his house were how many recessed lighting fixtures that he had throughout the house.  He had them in every room of the house. I also noticed that I could see daylight between the doors and the frames when the doors were closed.  When I went up into the attic I found that it was insulated with only R13 batting type insulation.  The insulation was poorly installed and had large gaps where I could see down to the top of the ceiling sheetrock.  The recessed lighting fixtures were all un-insulated and were allowing his conditioned air to escape. The duct system had over 40% leakage into his attic when it was tested.

I informed the customer that he didn’t need to upgrade his HVAC system for $20,000.00 to lower his PG&E bills.  What he needed was to seal his leakage in the duct system to get more efficient delivery of conditioned air, to seal the exterior doors, and to better insulate his attic to keep that air inside the house.  The attic should be properly insulated with R30 or better. The total for these recommendations were less than $2,000.00. 

I finished the sealing of his duct system and weather sealed both exterior doors that day and he scheduled for a contractor to blow-in extra insulation into the attic.  Yesterday, he called me and said that he has noticed that his HVAC system is actually working better than it ever has.  He hopes to see an immediate reduction in his PG&E bill once the insulation has been installed.