successstories

Phipps Home: A Charlottesville Home for all Seasons

The Phipps Family
Charlottesville, VA

Year Built: 1947Phipps house snowPhipps house summer
Square Footage: 2,750
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 3 1/2
2 Story Home
Heat Pump

Projected Energy Savings: 25%+

Their Story

The Phipps family home had been remodeled a few years before they bought it, but the work was not well done leaving them uncomfortable especially in the sunroom. They worked with LEAP through the City of Charlottesville’s Energy!250 campaign with a UVA Community Credit Union’s PowerSaver Loan. From adding insulation to fixing an “octopus” configuration of ductwork, their contractors took a “whole house” approach. The result is what the Phipps call “a home for all seasons.”

“Thanks to LEAP, we really do now have a home for all seasons. We enjoyed a much cooler home this summer, and already feel improvements keeping out the cold as winter begins to set in, too. Everyone involved, from start to finish — even the loan officer who helped with the PowerSaver loan at UVA Community Credit Union — was enormously helpful, patient, and thoroughly professional. You really made the whole process so easy that we’d have been crazy not to make the LEAP-supported improvements we made.” — Trish Phipps

Basic Issues Uncovered:

  • Eave attics and top attic were poorly sealed and insulated with fiberglass batts which were misaligned. A number of areas would have been difficult to address with extensive demolition
  • The home’s ductwork, located in the attic, had an “octopus” like configuration which provided significant resistance and leaking at most junctions so that conditioned air could not be delivered in a controlled and balanced manner
  • The crawlspace, which connected to the conditioned part of the home through a mechanical room was in poor condition and a blower door test showed significant air infiltration and excess humidity

Home Energy Improvement Measures Implemented:

  • Insulated attic roof deck and gable ends with open cell foam
  • Installed a heavy duty vapor barrier in the crawlspace
  • Insulated the foundation walls and end joists and bands with closed cell foam, thereby encapsulating the crawlspace
  • Reconfigured ductwork in attic to improve airflow

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Contractors: 

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