Estimated Heat Loss - Home Energy Audit ResultsThe energy consultant has sent in his report of the Home Energy Audit we had done on this old house house… and the results are quite eye-opening!

Here’s a graph from the report, showing the energy loss estimated to be happening in various parts of the house and the amount of energy we could save if we did all the renovation work that is recommended in the report.

Mouse hole at sill
Mouse hole near house foundation

I had speculated (half joking) that the many mouseholes into our unfinished rock-wall basement were causing a lot of air leakage and heat loss — and what do you know! It turns out to be true!

But one reader reminded me, in an earlier comment, to pay special attention to attic insulation. As the Energy Audit report shows, he’s right — there’s definitely room for improvement in that area, too!

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When we bought this old house, a little over ten years ago now, the attic was insulated with wood shavings. Messy! And not as effective as one would like. Not to mention a potential fire hazard. So we removed the wood shavings and put in a vapour barrier (plastic sheeting), topped off with a layer of pink fibreglas insulation. According to the energy consultant’s report, the attic really needs a second layer of fibreglas insulation to bring it up to code for this climate.

But the first thing we’re going to do, as soon as the contractor can fit us into his schedule, is to install some spiffy new low-E argon-filled windows!

What we have now are the original turn-of-the-century single-hung wooden windows with single panes of thin wavy glass. On the outside, there are some (truly hideous) non-removable aluminum storm windows, from the 1960s, that don’t do much to keep the cold out or the heat in. All they do is make it impossible to clean the windows properly!

From an energy-conservation perspective, replacing the windows is an important task but not necessarily the first priority compared to the main walls and basement, but they do factor in to the overall air leakage… In winter, several of our windows are often rimmed with 1/4-inch-thick ice on the inside — ice, not frost — around the edge of the sash. Not good.

And besides, it’s a “quality of life” issue: I want to be able to open and close windows easily, to see our beautiful view without squinting through flyspecks and wavy glass, and, yes, even to wash the windows from time to time!

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