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We've been talking about our Home Performance Assessments and how beneficial they are, but what exactly is a Home Performance Assessment??
We're going to take a deeper look at what goes on at one of our assessments. We'll break down the components of an assessment so that you can see all of the great ways a home performance assessment can improve the health, safety, efficiency, and durability of your home.
Our analysts use Blower Door Tests to help determine a home's airtightness. A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. The test can determine how much air in your home is being exchanged with outside air every hour. The more air that is leaking into your home, the harder your heating equipment has to work and the higher your utility bills get. Leaky homes can often times feel drafty and cold in the winter as well.
During the Blower Door Test, our analyst will scan your home with an infrared camera to see where outside air is leaking in. Pictures taken during the winter or on summer mornings will generally show air leakage as colder than the interior of the home. Pictures taken during summer afternoons will generally show air leakage as being warmer than the interior of the home. These images will help us determine where air sealing is required to make your living space more efficient and comfortable.
Our analysts will inspect the insulation in your walls, attic, ceiling, and any other applicable zones in the home that effect comfort and efficiency. We observe the age, condition, and amount of insulation currently installed. The analyst will determine if it is appropriate for our climate zone or if it could be improved or replaced.
Crawl space areas under your home can contribute to the Chimney Effect – where cold air creeps into the interior of the house, pushing warm air out, forcing heating and cooling systems to work harder. Moisture can build up in these crawl spaces which can lead to mold and mildew forming. Did you know that all the air in your crawl space goes through your house on an hourly basis? Mold exposure can cause certain health problems, including wheezing, coughing, stuffy nose, itching, and so on. Our analysts will take a look at your crawl space or basement to determine if it is contributing to any health or comfort issues.
Window type, size, and orientation affect home performance. Similarly, doors can perform differently depending on the material and how they are installed. Our analyst will inspect all windows, doors and seals in the home and make suggestions. These suggestions could include adding storm windows, adding solar screens, adding storm doors, replacing your current exterior doors with insulated ones or on the rare occasion, replacing windows. These changes can save energy and help reduce drafts or passive solar heating.
Our analysts will inspect your water heater and make sure that it is set to a safe and efficient temperature setting. We will also inspect your thermostat and make suggestions on models that will decrease your energy use and utility bills. We will take a look at your heating system and make suggestions based off safety, comfort and efficiency. Lastly, we will look at your refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, clothes washer and clothes dryer and make suggestions on improvements.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause sudden illness and even death. Carbon Monoxide can be present in your home as a byproduct of burning fuel. In most cases, it is caused by your water heater, boiler, or furnace. This byproduct can also come from some other surprising sources: vehicles, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, and small engines. Our analysts will run a carbon monoxide test to ensure the air you are breathing in your home is not unknowingly harming your health.
Our analysts will inspect all of the lighting in your home and let you know if energy efficiency improvements can be made.
4 Peaks offers air quality testing. We can help you "see" the invisible factors that impact your health. Air quality monitors can identify things like moisture, carbon dioxide, chemicals, dust and smoke. After the air in your home has been monitored and the pollutants have been identified, 4 Peaks can help you take action to mitigate the problems. As more studies confirm the serious health risks associated with air pollution, knowing what is going into your lungs has never been more important.
The EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon. 4 Peaks uses a digital testing monitor that records a continuous measurement. Unlike the self-test kits, the digital monitor produces a real-time report showing the varying levels of radon being measured. Real time data means we can look for spikes in radon levels and determine what is causing it. This information not only helps you get to know your house better, but it also helps us determine the best and most well-rounded solution. The report is automatically generated, so results can be seen the same day. If radon is present in the home, we can mitigate the problem with a cost effective solution. After the system is installed, 4 Peaks will retest to ensure the radon levels are maintained within acceptable levels.
Does your water taste or smell funny? 4 Peaks offers water quality testing. We can test for chlorine, PH, alkaline, nitrates, dissolved solids, iron, magnesium, turbidity, sulfates, hardness, hydrogen sulfide, E Coli, and Ammonia Nitrogen. We can also test for lead, copper, arsenic and radon in your water. If unhealthy levels are detected, we can help you find a solution to mitigate the issue.
4 Peaks will work with Energy Smart Colorado, your local non-profit administrator, and your utility company to maximize any rebates that you qualify for. Not only that, but we will personally fill out the paperwork and submit it on your behalf. All you need to do is sit back and wait for your rebate check in the mail. If you choose to do energy efficiency improvements after the assessment, we will continue to process your rebates for you so you are not only lowering your up-front cost, but also have potential to save on your utility bills for years to come.
Rebates aren't the only free service we provide - we also do free direct installs during your assessment. That means that we'll install quick energy efficient items that help reduce your impact. Some of these items include LED lightbulbs, pipe insulation, water heater blankets, water-saving faucets, thermostats, and more!