Remember that CPI and ETO as well as many of the federal tax rebates are set to expire on December 31st. Time to weatherize while passing the cost along is nearing its end. I hope to see future tax credits retuen for these programs but as of yet the future funding is uncertain and unclear. Many changes have been in the works for these programs and incentives have already begun to lessen for rebates. Now nearly every program looks to access what other money is out there available and the cost of installation is lessening by factoring in the final cost after rebates have been accounted for thus lowering final incentives to the homeowners.
Act while you still can as there has never been a better time to upgrade your homes efficiency while saving money doing it.
Our goal is not to justify our weatherization sales, but to walk you through the choices available to you to allow you the ability to make an informed decision on your options for home comfort improvement.

A recent client of ours opted to use us for duct sealing and blower door testing but thought they would save money by doing the insulation portion themselves and contracting dirrecly with a sub contractor. When the insulation company showed up to do the work however, is was realized that several key items were missing from their origional bid that ours had included. Luckily these things were able to be added in while the work crews were there but at extra expense. The final cost of the job came very close to our origional contract price.
If your estimaters are not going into the crawlspaces and attics and physically looking at the jobs in detail, most of the estimates they give you will allow them to leave out items that can be added later to bring the final price up.
As a Contractor: we will stand behind any work we are contracted to do with you dirrectly. If we need to replace a subcontractor to ensure the work is done correctly and to our standard, you can be certain that it will happen.

Here is a link for an ask the builder column that explains a bit more about the importance of venting these crawlspaces and leaving foundation vents open.

http://www.askthebuilder.com/543-Crawl-Space-Vents.shtml

While driving around and giving bids to many folks who are looking to take the edge off their winter heating bills, I have seen a large number of people who seem to think that foam blocking their foundation vents is a good idea in regards to weatherization. While it would go to reason that any blockage of cool air in or under the house may increase comfort and lessen the heating load, it should be stressed that covering foundation vents is a horrible idea in Oregon or any cool wet climate. Foundation vents are meant to allow air to evaporate the moisture within the crawlspace areas. Nearly every crawlspace I have seen has some sort of moisture problem. Energy trust and most incentive programs require a vapor barrier in these areas to help contain the moisture within the ground. Building Codes have long stressed the importance of vapor barriers in these spaces as well.
What happens when you trap the existing moisture from these areas within the building cavity or crawlspace and do not allow proper airflow to help remove the moisture? Imagine dumping a cup of water in your refrigerator and sealing it closed for a few months! Mildew and mold are often seen in these situations and can lead to serious health problems and increase many other problems that are often seen such as dry rot within the sub floor and framing.
Remember that your insulation is your thermal barrier for the house. Not your crawlspace vents!

Here are examples of some weatherization in progress.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfY1DhCZ5Ng
Im always amazed at the improvements that can be made to these systems.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIEs3yIT61M

Duct leak 1

Here is an example of a duct leak where a smaller heat run is connected to a large trunk line. Notice the connection and imagine the heat loss to the crawlspace for over 20 years. This was one of many leaks discovered in this heat system.

Here is an example of a system that has been sealed well and the boot to floor connections foamed to prevent air loss into the crawlspace

Wonder what we are doing when we show up at your place. Here is a bit of insight into our world of duct sealing. Example of ghosting at plenum

Example of ghosting and leaks in the ducts

Here is an example of a home we recently completed repairs on. Notice the ductwork that was never strapped to the framing and therefore rusted through in the crawlspace. This client had had made many attemts with sub contractors over the years to make repairs to their system with little or no response. To be honest the work involved is not glamerous or a big money maker for us. We feel however that such basic repairs are both important and we do our best to fix these negelected systems. We restrapped the entire system to the framing, duct sealed all ductwork, connections and replaced all rusty parts. What a difference some crawling and honest labor make. I feel lucky to provide such a valuable service to those in need.

Rusty ducts fro ground contact, notice the duct tape connections

Rusty ducts carry no heat

Another temporary fix corrected.

We have been working with many people lately to improve their comfort in their homes. While basic weatherization is the low hanging fruit on these improvements, it may be time to take a closer look into heating systems for many. One of the easiest ways to do this in a small home or a larger house where conventional ducting may not be available is to consider the addition of a new Mini Split heat pump. While these units have been used for many years in the commercial front, it is good to see that many of the large manufacturers have recently turned their attention to marketing these in the residential arena. These systems perform better when sized appropriately and can reach seer ratings of 23 and are amazingly efficient at heating and cooling both. The newer generation of heat pumps have the ability to perform better at lower external temperatures and cost significantly less that electric resistance type heaters. Super quiet running and infrared sensors allow these units to adjust and direct heat where it is most needed. Tired of feeling the chill. Consider one of these ceiling mount or wall mount units along with basic insulation improvements to battle the chill. No ductwork necessary as they can be point of use, or can also be ducted between rooms to target where they are needed most.

There has never been a better time to upgrade your house for insulation, new HVAC and insulated windows. The down side to all of these improvments however is the paperwork on chasing these programs who offer the rebates and tax incentives as their flood of paperwork for sending these to their intended recipients is more overwhelming than ours as approved contractors for their programs.

Now that the weather in Corvallis has begun to change from long summer easy temp to drizzle and colder nights many of the people who were on the fence for these projects are now realizing that the funding for some of these programs is under threat of running out.
For duct testing and sealing, we are still able to handle a few new jobs a week and complete them in relatively short order. When it comes to complete ductwork revisions, insulation and duct wrapping however, we are feeling the crunch and are more reliant upon our suppliers and sub trades. This means longer than normal waits for those services.

Who We Are

We are premier builders for additions, remodeling and new construction for Corvallis and the Willamette Valley. We specialize in unique and challenging projects and apply sustainable building principles.

Contact Information

Please call us for a Free Estimate!

541.754.6326

541.207.2240

gcci@comcast.net

644 NW 4th St. Corvallis, OR

Greg Christianson

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