Interior Air Quality

Post image for Problems with Crawlspaces – Venting and other Underhouse Ills

  Crawlspaces are like the Loch Ness monster; talked about, rarely seen and potentially a bit scary. The crawlspace is that empty, barely accessible pit under the house filled with swampy water, cobwebs and spiders the size of dinner plates (that was the Google result for ‘spiders the size of dinner plates…enjoy). At least that’s […]

{ 1 comment }

How to Avoid Mold? Avoid Water Sports

by Erik North on August 14, 2013

Post image for How to Avoid Mold? Avoid Water Sports

  Mold and moisture issues are a pretty common motivation for homeowners to give us a ring. There’s condensation on the windows, water dripping into the window box. One homeowner described how if they opened their front door during the winter, the glass panes on the storm door would fog up within 10 or 12 […]

{ 0 comments }

Energy Retrofits Without Energy Audits

by Erik North on August 5, 2013

Post image for Energy Retrofits Without Energy Audits

    While some building folks have opined that energy audits are less than essential, I am admittedly biased. It is what I do. But it raises an interesting question: how could one do the work on a house and ensure air quality, warmth, comfort and moisture control without an audit? What minimum provisions would […]

{ 1 comment }

Concentric Vents and Blizzard Nemo

by Erik North on July 31, 2013

Post image for Concentric Vents and Blizzard Nemo

    Blizzard Nemo clobbered Maine and most of the eastern seaboard this past February. Snow blanketed the entire coast, piling especially high in the Appalachian foothills. We slogged through a three foot dump in Portland. 50 MPH gusts whipped snow every way, sculpting enormous snow drifts in almost alien landscapes. That’s what our family […]

{ 0 comments }

Post image for The Worst House Ever Audited (Was Built in 2008) Part 3

    To recap: Last post I started reviewing possibly the worst house I ever audited. The house had built in 2008, which hit one of my pet peeves: That new automatically means good. But to reiterate a buddy’s favorite saying, “a house built to code is the worst house you’re legally allowed to build.” […]

{ 0 comments }

Post image for Reader Questions – Potential Mold Growth in Cellulose

  I get a number of homeowner emails with residential energy questions. I try answer the questions and thought I’d publish (with permission) some of the responses here. I’ve altered the exchanges slightly to remove all personal and company names. I mean besides mine or those I’ve been involved with. _______________________________________________________ Good afternoon Erik, I […]

{ 0 comments }

Post image for The Worst House I Ever Audited (Was Built in 2008) Part 2

    Last post I started reviewing possibly the worst house I ever audited. There have been others with a similar magnitude of issues. But this house had built in 2008, which some folks thinks signifies no worries. But to reiterate a buddy’s favorite saying, “a house built to code is the worst house you’re […]

{ 2 comments }

Post image for The Worst House I Ever Audited (Was Built in 2008) Part 1

    OK, maybe THAT house wasn’t built in 2008. One thing apt to set my teeth on edge as an auditor is when folks casually assume that a new home won’t have energy problems or be inefficient. I was just discussing some marketing with a friend, who casually dropped that weatherization and efficiency work […]

{ 0 comments }

Major Thermal Bypasses – The Big Holes in Your House

by Erik North on November 14, 2012

Post image for Major Thermal Bypasses – The Big Holes in Your House

    First, a bit about my writing…I write longhand whenever I have spare time. Between audits, at lunch, after the gym when stopping for a coffee then I type them up. The thing is that I find a lot more spare time in my walking around day than at the home/office. To say there […]

{ 2 comments }

Post image for CFM50 And ACH50 – How They Work (And How They Don’t)

    CFM50 and ACH50 are two blower door measures that I bandy around all the time but have never defined. If I were trying to play it mysterious I would say, hey, we have to keep some of this mysterious. A more ‘actual’ reason would be that, despite my sincere belief otherwise, talking about […]

{ 2 comments }