Making the Summit Nook smart on energy started with an audit completed by a BPI Accredited professional (Building Performance Institute). The audit was completed free of charge through a grant provided by NYSERDA‘s Get Energy Smart Program.
The audit is an important step in redesigning your home to utilize energy more efficiently. Due to the size of the Summit Nook, and its complete lack of useful insulation, I knew what I was getting into prior to the initial audit. While the opportunity for savings on the Summit Nook were apparent, even those who know their homes are insulated should consider an audit. They often reveal opportunities for energy savings hidden to the common eye.
Choosing to utilize blown-in cellulose insulation throughout the exterior walls and ceiling was an easy decision based on a cost benefit analysis provided by the energy auditor. An R-30 rating for the ceiling and an R-22 for the exterior walls was achieved through this method.
Windows in the Summit Nook appear to be the original, installed in 1940. These well crafted wood windows have a single pane of glass. While not great on containing warmth and terrible for radiating chilly sensations, they are equipped with storm-windows. As well sealed storm windows are recognized by Energy Star qualifying for federal tax credit with installation, it made no sense to retrofit.
Air sealing in the basement was achieved with the application of 2 part open-cell foam to the rim-joist.
The benefits from the insulation and air sealing retrofit are immediate, one feels warmer at lower temperature. This allows one to lower the thermostat while better maintaining heat generated. This benefit will appear each month when one receives their utility bill.