I did an energy audit on a client and I would like to get some suggestions please.

This is my main "problem": 11 year-old home, about 2,000sq living space, around 2,000cfm50. Two floors with basement and attached garage. How water oil fired boiler with two air handlers, one per floor. Clients are only using the first floor! 

Client took about half the garage space, built a wall across, well insulated, drywall both sides, paint, ceiling with about r40 on ceiling of his new shop. Since it was in the garage, there is no heat or AC, so he brought a 6 inch line from the second floor's air handler to this workshop... this thing is, in order for him to get enough heat, he needs to crank up the heat to the second floor, which by the way, they are not really using (what a disaster)  So I already discussed with client that we need to removed that extension he did from the second floor air handler, but I have to offer a solution how to keep this shop from freezing during the Winter, and provide enough heat about 2 hours a week he spends there. 

The other side of the coin is his basement, he and his wife uses the basement as a gym everyday for about 3 hours, so this area gets much more use that the wood shop. None of the ductwork is sealed or insulated and client is OK with that because he feels that it is allowing him to use that space during the Winter months comfortable, my problem is he is heating the space 24/7 which is a great waste, and even though it is considered "conditioned" space it is of my opinion that I should recommend to seal all duct work, apply insulation and then offer a cheaper way of heating the space for the 3 hours my clients will use the space. I think that overall, this will bring the largest energy savings. 

I thought at first I could suggest a pellet stove for the basement, which would benefit heating the first floor as well... my problem is the wood shop! The shop is 288 sq and my first thought was an electric heater because an hour a week that is a no brainer, but what about maintaining above freezing temperature for the Winter months??? That might be costly to go with an electric heater and negate any savings I am trying to offer my client. 

Any suggestions?

    Your help is greatly appreciated,


Views: 150

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It appears that the reason the shop is not heating now is that the supply is not big enough.  Add to that the second floor (attic?) system has to push warm air down 2 stories, and that was a bad idea.  So yes, close that off.

The basement is a different story.  Starting with the '09 IECC, a conditioned space is defined as one with uninsulated ducts running through it, so indeed the space is conditioned, and you want it that way.  If there are supplies, close them to see what happens, but heating this area is not hurting you.

As for the shop, perhaps a small duct with a damper from the basement through the band joist to keep the shop at 55, then a large electric baseboard strip to kick on an hour ahead of using the shop.  The larger metal tools (table saw and even hand planes) won't be warm in that time, but at least he won't have to grab a freezing tool.

He can close off the shop duct anytime he doesn't feel he needs heat or even a little A/C to keep the humidity down for his woodworking projects.



  • Add Videos
  • View All


Latest Activity

Bud Poll replied to Rob Madden's discussion Blower Door Testing on Energy Star v3 home
"Where was the blower set up, front door, other?  Was if located in an unobstructed area, not a…"
7 hours ago
David N. Armington liked John Poole's discussion Two Part Epoxy and Repair of Structural Wood
David N. Armington joined John Poole's group

Historic Home

Historic and vintage homes are significant to our cultural heritage, yet often lack energy…See More
Seth Romme is now a member of Home Energy Pros
John Nicholas replied to Rob Madden's discussion Blower Door Testing on Energy Star v3 home
"So you have a slab on grade home, duct work in the attic?"
Diane Jackson posted a photo

"Drive Home"

Addison Homes spent a fun day with a film crew from the National Association of Home Builders. We…
Paul Raymer posted a blog post

Healthy Home Evaluator Training

Fall River, MA     October 13, 2016…See More
Diane Chojnowski updated an event

Better homes video series at Seventhwave

October 24, 2016 to January 26, 2017

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service