This month's head scratcher comes from Ken Tohinaka of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation in Burlington, Vermont.
Ken explains that recently, the owners of adjacent condo units in a Vermont condominium association banded together to address energy performance and building maintenance issues. Their problems were evidenced by excessive snow melt and dangling icicles. The condo owners employed an experienced Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractor to develop a suitable work scope, and to perform a retrofit to solve the problem. The work scope consisted of extensive air sealing in the attic, in addition to adding another six inches of insulation. Both projects were completed successfully.
While it is too soon to determine the extent of the energy savings, the owners realize that they can still see excessive snow melt and icicles. Ken asks, "why is there still excessive heat loss?"
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It could be one, or several, of 100 reasons. Without anything to look at, my first GUESS is that the common walls weren't properly sealed to stop heat loss to the attic. That's a very common issue in my experience.