We are a few days into the home envelope challenge, and just like during the commuting challenge I feel like I am learning a great deal. Home envelope was a new term for me: it means all of the components of the house that separates the indoors from the outdoors.
We had our home energy audit in August, conducted by Jack and Mahmoud. While Mahmoud conducted the blow test, creating a vacuum in the house by sucking air out, Jack walked through the house with a feather, holding it up to various light sockets and pot lights to indicate how much heat would escape during the winter from the inside to the outside.
A few weeks later we received the results in a 22 page written report, and a series of recommendations on how we can improve our insulation, stop air leakage, maintain our home better, and consider equipment replacement.
The house was built in 1963, and it is the home in which I grew up. My parents were good at home maintenance and repair; my ex-husband Jeff and I purchased the home in 2004 after renting it from them for a few years. Here’s the thing: raising young children is tough, raising young children while working full time is tougher, and raising young children while working full time and going through a separation is much, much tougher. Not surprisingly, the house took a back seat, but since my separation in 2015, I, along with my new partner Steve, have done alot to improve it. The focus, however, has been on aesthetics and safety, and not on reducing emissions.
Hence the beauty of this contest: I knew we needed to do more in our home, and understand the urgency in terms of climate. The two week home envelope challenge is providing a helpful structure to get the work underway.