On October 24th, 2009, the International Day of Climate Action sponsored by 350.org, the house was a-bustlin’ with activity!
The local energy efficiency organization HEET – Home Energy Efficiency Team – came over with a horde of volunteers to do a weatherization “barn-raising.” Our Coop had been selected as the site to swarm on this fine day. HEET barn-raisings are a great way to get involved with the community and participate in direct action to weatherize old buildings and improve their energy efficiency. This time it was in coordination with the larger day of climate action to reduce carbon emissions. Many different projects were approached and dispatched.
By the end of the day, the assembled crew had tended to all ends of the house – from basement windows to insulating the actual pop-up hatch to the roof, and everywhere in between. Comparing a blower-door test from before to after, we were able to reduce air leakage by 16%, which was much better than the 12% pre-event estimate.
There are still a few places where we could look for further savings. Eventually, we will remove the open-flue boilers and hot water heater, where air can go right up the chimney from the basement. Our windows, while they were replaced in the 1990’s with insulated inserts, have over time settled into less than full efficiency, and could use an expensive “tune-up” to increase their ability to hold heat in the house. These might be for further down the line, as they are expensive projects which don’t have rapid paybacks. But volunteers installing weatherization strips is a great way to shore up your energy efficiency.
Thank you HEET! We’ll be out there helping at the next energy efficiency barn-raising!
Here are a few photos from the event.
Installing foam insulation in the chinks of the foundation masonry.Installing storm windows on the exterior…Caulking the jamb at the basement door…Adding a strip of Q-Lon to the kitchen door…And after a whole bunch of other activities around many windows and doors, the gang assembled to have a good lunch of sandwiches donated by Whole Foods.And what Barn Raising would be complete without a little ho-down! HEET Rocks! Thank you HEET and all your wonderful volunteers. We all learned by doing, and did a good thing for the planet!