Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High Summer Bills Shock NY Residents

Westchester Homeowner Finds Efficient Solution to Costly Bill

“I felt like I got punched in the stomach,” recalled one New York resident when he received the first bill of the summer. “The record heat resulted in a record bill. I already knew I had a problem due to my winter bills and I decided it was time to solve it once and for all.”

He called BrightHome for a whole house energy audit to see why his two-story, 1940 home performed poorly in the heat of summer and cold of winter. During the first phone call, he learned that he qualified for $4,500 in federal tax credits and state cash incentives.

That week, BrightHome energy savings consultant Tom Brown arrived at his home and performed a 75-point interior and exterior energy audit which took over four hours to complete. As a Building Performance Institute certified specialist, he began using BrightHome’s state-of-the-art energy efficiency diagnostic equipment.

Mr. Brown walked around the home with the resident, room-by-room, using a thermal imaging camera while running the blower door in order to discover the cause of the problems.

“To see the hot and cold spots on the thermal camera is amazing. It makes total sense where the problems are,” said the resident. “These are the same areas that my family avoids when temperatures are extreme.”

Mr. Brown then examined the home’s walls, basement, crawl spaces, attics, windows and ducts -- everywhere air leakage could occur. With the blower door test, he calculated exactly how much energy is being wasted by excessive airflow.

“It’s common for older homes to have excessive air leakage, this home had what is the equivalent of a two-by-three-foot open window year-round,” said Mr. Brown. “It overworks heating and cooling systems which increases utility bills and makes the house uncomfortable.”

“During the summer, our daughter’s bedroom is the hottest room in the house,” said the resident. “BrightHome’s energy audit revealed there was no insulation in the walls and the poor duct work was causing 30 percent of her room’s cool air to leak outside.”

In addition to checking for efficiency, Mr. Brown performed health and safety tests on all combustion equipment for gas leakage and carbon monoxide levels in the home.

“After Tom performed the energy audit, we received a detailed and comprehensive report on our home’s energy usage. He walked us through a room-by-room evaluation of our home’s energy usage and potential solutions. At first we were overwhelmed but he helped us identify our priorities and worked within our budget to reduce our energy costs and make us more comfortable,” said the resident.

BrightHome guarantees quality and energy savings because most work is completed by its team members. All BrightHome team members are required to pass a background check and drug test.

Insulation and air sealing were among the various solutions selected by the resident. Those measures that may cut his energy bill up to thirty percent annually.

“When the work was completed, we felt the difference. The cooling system isn’t on as much and the rooms stay comfortable. For the first time, I’m looking forward to our next energy bill!”

For more information on how to reduce your home’s energy usage, call BrightHome at 914-909-5300 or visit us at

BrightHome is an approved NYSERDA contractor, BPI accredited and a founding member of Efficiency first.

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