Got a phone call from a Son today, he was down at the local Mall looking to exchange a shirt he got for Christmas. This is one of those times when I wish that cell phones would just go away. Why do we need to be in constant touch with everybody all the time?
"Yes son, I bought the shirt there and I don't know why I cut the tag off and I don't know what happened to the receipt after Grandma exchanged her boots. Please try to not drive around too much, gas is expensive."
Anyway, I liked the shirt and don't know why it needs to be exchanged for one I probably won't like.
I am sitting here at home, listening to my refrigerator hum away. You do remember my refrigerator don't you? I am thinking about the work specifications I need to write tomorrow for the home I visited this afternoon. It is a single wide manufactured home with a number of problems that should be addressed to make the home safer and more energy efficient.
I am going to share some infrared pictures I took today, I find them very revealing and demonstrate the need for weatherization and air sealing.
Not everyone lives in a nice, well insulated home. In fact, I think a whole lot of people simply live in a home that fits their needs and their income. A single wide manufactured home can be very comfortable and cozy. And in many ways, carry the title of "Family Home" just as well as the big home in the gated community.
The problem with a lot of manufactured homes, or any home, is they have been recycled a number of times. From one owner to the next, things that affect energy efficiency seem to get set aside and not well maintained. I spoke about my refrigerator that hums along like a diesel truck, well this home has a furnace fan that sounds like a two year old on a set of drums.
One thing I will add to my list of work spec's for this home is to have the furnace serviced. I am pretty sure the bearings are out in the furnace fan and a new fan motor is in order. The squirrel cage fan that is in most furnaces gets very dirty and dusty over the years. Add a little more dust on one side of the fan then the other and the out-of-balance fan will help the bearings wear out.
Now that the bearings are out and the fan remains out-of-balance, the fan can strike the side of the fan housing and produce a real thumping sound. Like a two year old with a wooden spoon and a cooking pan.
I thought the homeowner would be worried about the clanking coming from the furnace, but they didn't seem to be concerned. Maybe it is like my refrigerator, after a while, one gets used to the noise and simply ignores it.
The Infrared camera includes pictures of the louver style windows, the front door, and an electrical outlet. In the picture of the window, you can see the difference in surface temperature that indicates how much heat is being radiated from the warm window to the cold outside. Louver windows are one type of window that is always cost effective to change for new, double pane windows.
By changing all the windows in this home, I will expect to get at least a 30% savings in heating costs.
The picture of the front door clearly shows the lack of sufficient weatherstripping around the door. The brighter colors are areas of warmer temperatures. In the picture of the door, the area around the door is warmer because the door does not seal well against the door frame which allows warm air from inside the home to escape to the outside.
Of the three infrared pictures, I like the picture of the electric outlet the best. This picture, of course, was taken from inside the home where the other pictures were taken from the outside. The dark color cascading below the outlet is cool air from inside the wall, entering the home from around the outlet and then falling down towards the kitchen counter. Cooler air is heavier than warm air and tends to move downwards towards the floor.
Most people are amazed to witness the amount of air that can leak into and out of a home by way of electric outlets and light switches. This picture demonstrates the reason why foam gaskets are made for outlets that can help stop the flow of air.
My work specifications for this manufacture home will include a new roof, servicing the furnace, new windows, new door weatherstripping and a refrigerator. Yes, a refrigerator.
Currently this home has two refrigerators and neither of them work. They won't even hum like a diesel truck. In fact, one of them has a freezer compartment that has gotten so hot, it melted the plastic lining. I guess you could say, this is one refrigerator that turned itself into a heater.
Thanks for stopping by Detect Energy, please come back soon, but I won't leave the light on for you...
More from Don Ames and Detect Energy at www.detectenergy.com.