The Park Home: Energy Efficiency and then Solar
The Park Family
Year Built: 1994
Square Footage: 2183
2 story, single family detached
Projected Energy Savings: 30% (plus solar array)
“I want it to work as they designed it to.” When you’re frustrated with freezing rooms (or stifling hot in the summer) and high energy bills, you probably say that same thing that David and Anna Maria Park said. David was specifically referring to the bonus room above the garage that they use as a study (TV watching, ironing, etc) — a space often rendered useless by temperature extremes. The Parks got to the bottom of their home’s energy challenges with a Home Energy Check-Up performed by LEAP. It all started when Solarize Charlottesville brought steep discounts on solar installations to the area in the summer of 2014. The Parks had been thinking about both solar and energy efficiency improvements for their house for a while, and Solarize got them moving. They took advantage of the program’s free Check-Up and quickly enlisted LEAP’s Project Management team to help fix the energy efficiency problems we identified. Now that they have reduced their energy usage they are moving forward with solar power to produce their own energy!
In Their Own Words
“My wife and I were very impressed by the professionalism and thoroughness of both WeatherSeal and LEAP. Our LEAP Project Manager Mike Hogan really went the extra mile to make sure we were fully satisfied with the total job and all of the individual parts.
We knew that house had overall problems that led to the uneven temperatures, but we weren’t sure what the right approach was to fix them. Some people had recommended a two-zone system, but as our LEAP Energy Coach pointed out that’s not always the right solution. In our case, adding insulation and air sealing was far more effective.
Right now the temperatures in all parts of the house are much more even, and we can already see that we’re saving money on electric and gas bills. This week AltEnergy is installing our solar power system, and we expect once that is up and running that it will produce about 40% of the electricity that we use.
Both the LEAP energy efficiency and Solarize programs have been a tremendous benefit to us in terms of comfort and saving money. Plus we are doing something good for the planet as well as doing something good for ourselves. We’ve been looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, having recently switched from an SUV to a Prius.” — David Park
Basic Issues Uncovered in Home Energy Check-Up
- Attic lacking air sealing
- Attics have less than R19 insulation
- Pull down stairs in attic was not air sealed correctly
- Backing on knee walls in the attic
- Bonus room knee walls were poorly insulated
- Crawl space was open to the outside elements
Energy Improvement Measures Implemented
- Air sealed and insulated attic to an R-49
- Air sealed and insulated the knee walls in the bonus room
- Encapsulated crawl space
- Install an attic tent
- Re-rout the dryer vent
- Bonus: Install a solar array through Solarize Charlottesville
LEAP provided Project Management services for The Parks.