Kim Lane Testimonial (Waterville)
The estimate for the improvements is detailed with pricing. There were options to break the improvements down into financially manageable segments. Once the improvements are resolved a second evaluation is done to verify the goals of the work performed. The re-check was important to me.
In addition, I received assistance to resale some of the removed product so not to add to our landfill.
The work crew was tidy and neat each day.
I would highly recommend the quality work provided by Sustainable Structures. -Kim Lane-
Original CFM50 = 2,101 CFM50
New CFM50 = 1,644 CFM50
Net Reduction = 451 CFM50ACHn Before = 0.49
ACHn After = 0.38
Marian Bowman Testimonial
Late in 2008 with winter fast approaching and my old wood stove needing to be replaced, I decided to have an Energy Audit conducted on the house to see what the overall status of my home’s energy efficiency (or inefficiency) was. I had recently had retired and needed to improve (cut) energy costs wherever possible. I had always been very interested in solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative strategies for making my house work better (more efficiently) for my needs. Fortunately all these alternative energy sources have finally become more cost effective for homeowners and the technology had also greatly advanced since I first began researching them more then 20+ years ago. (Systems such as hot water on demand were only available in Europe back then and could not be imported)
I located a certified provider from the Maine Housing Authority’s web site and choose a company that was local to where I lived in Maine. (I like to do business locally whenever possible and it simply makes good business sense to have business providers ‘in close proximity’ these days) In early 2009 I hired the Sustainable Structures folks in Whitefield to conduct an Energy Audit on my house which included infrared technology and other tests.
Curry Caputo and his partners conducted an flow test using my front door entrance which revealed where cold air gets into my house and the warm air escapes. They also inspected my house from attic to basement. (Being a ‘technology geek’, a former systems engineer, I admit that I followed the crew around and asked a lot of questions. I like to understand how things work after all!)
Upon reviewing the basement, where air infiltrates through the sill and creates a flow that pushes warm air up through the house and out through the attic and roof, it was clear that insulating the basement from the sills to below ground level would be the best ‘bang for the buck’ in helping to stop air infiltration and keeping the warm air from the wood stove doing a better job of heating the house.
After reviewing the attic it was soon obvious that the pink fiberglass insulation from the 1970′s wasn’t doing much of a job in my home. It had become wet (from icing at the joint in the roof) and had to be removed. The attic was then air sealed and another air flow (door) test was conducted to check on the air sealing status of the attic prior to having new insulation blown into the 3×12 pitched roof attic.
Spring soon arrived and while I haven’t had the opportunity to report on how well the house may work for me during “a Maine winter” just yet, the final ‘door test’ conducted proved that the efficiency of my home has improved by some 48% overall which should translate into (1) a huge savings in wood costs and, (2) a decrease in the amount of labor required (mine) to keep the new (more efficient) wood stove humming next season!
Meanwhile I can tell you that the house is much tighter then it was. I am also much more aware of how to increase the rate of air flow throughout my house simply by using the new air vent on my bathroom and the air vent in my kitchen to pull more air throughout the house while reducing humidity levels. I might also add that I am using my air conditioning less often this summer season.
One happy “Energy Certified” home owner, Marion from Chelsea
Bud Christy (Falmouth)
“The best thing about the whole process was the many different sets of experienced eyes on the project. By that I mean first Curry and the inspection, then Chris with the detailed report, then Jamie with the on site visit for the estimate and the on site instructions to the crew and finally Mark on the job everyday – he is so quiet I am not even sure Mark is his name, but he did a great job.
I felt like I was getting informed help through every step of the process and little things that were missed the first couple of times around were picked up on site and squared away. Much more professional than some slick salesman with flip charts and a bunch of day laborers blowing insulation all over the place.”
-Bud Christy- ,
Comments from a customer who was moving to Maine from out of state and looking to purchase a home in Rangeley. They found ‘two very similar houses’ that interested them and decided to have energy audits conducted on both in order to help them assess and then decide which home was the ‘better long-term investment’ for their needs. Here’s what they had to say about their experience with us.
“I believe you will see more buyer’s audits in the future. At least, I would hope so.
The information is invaluable and in our case the two properties audited performed vastly different despite being of the same vintage, same size, same builder and across the street from one another. Both were custom homes with very different owners.
We were intent on buying one property for nine months while waiting for our home to sell here. Had we gone ahead with that purchase without the audit, we would have been paying for the inefficiency and structural repairs for years to come.
Working with Dion was a pleasure. He obviously enjoys what he does and was extremely communicative regarding his findings and possible solutions. His knowledge and attitude were far superior and valuable by comparison to any home inspector we’ve encountered.
We are moving forward with the purchase of the second property we’ve had audited and are both excited and confident as to what we are getting and can look forward to. We would like to take steps to tweak the performance and will be calling again when we are settled.
I can and will highly recommend your services and our Realtor will be doing the same.
It is far better to be proactive and fully informed prior to purchase than suffer a lifetime of trying to compensate for what lies behind the walls of a superficially sound home.”
Linda Jones and David White
World Spar Service
Most fortunately, we happened to learn of the energy audits done by Sustainable Structures while attending a forum on energy at the University of Maine, Farmington. Luckily we learned just in time that our plan to blow insulation into our 1912 home would have meant very little toward improving energy efficiency or reducing our heating bills. It turns out that our worst leaks are not the walls themselves but rather where they connect to the roof and to the foundation, and the insulation we almost installed would not be especially effective. Jamie Olsen arrived with blower door, infrared camera, and gas detector to perform a very thorough energy audit. In addition, he brought his ample expertise and enthusiasm that included educating us about the process and conclusions of the audit. His work included exploring our walls, attic and basement, but also inspecting our heater and all other appliances, which surprised us. What he discovered about our kitchen range was by itself worth the price of the audit – our oven spews dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Jamie’s advice about the safety, efficiency and price-worthiness of other appliances was also quite helpful and informative. We had been hopeful to learn that lower fuel bills would offset the costs for the audit and insulation in the fairly near future—they will. But we also learned that improvement to our safety and health contributed immediately to the worth of having the energy audit. We highly recommend Sustainable Structures. The people we worked with were honest, bright, capable, prompt and personable. The work performed greatly exceeded our expectations. We are grateful and happy to have found them in time.
I wanted to take the time to write and tell you again how pleased we are with the professionalism of your entire crew and the excellent work they did. As homeowners it is hard to know who to trust and what to expect out of contractors. From the very beginning of this process we have been pleased with Sustainable Structures. How it was I picked that name over all the others on the list of approved energy auditors I’ll never know. Friends have told me I could have had the audit done for less money, but I’m a firm believer that when you have a competent professional you end up getting what you paid for. Dion, Andrew and all the others who worked on the house did an awesome job and were absolutely wonderful to deal with it is obvious they care completely about the quality of work they do.