Energy Efficiency Spotlight

Reduce Infiltration and Increase Insulation!

Blower Door(Reproduced from the April 2012 edition of Firelands Electric Cooperative’s Country Living magazine. Used with permission.)

Firelands member Jeanene Stover of Ashland was tired of being cold in her home each winter and this year she decided to do something about it. She had been saving money to replace a couple of leaky doors in her 30 year old house, and after getting some advice from Firelands’ Energy Advisor Lee Bohland she decided to do a few more things to improve her comfort.

Jeanene had the drafty patio door on the west side of her house and also her front door replaced. “The sliding door was so drafty,” she says, “when the wind was blowing from the west, you couldn’t stay in the room, it was so cold. And the front door was bad also, you could see right outside through a gap in the frame! Now it is so much more comfortable.”

Lee suggested that she increase her home’s insulation and have a blower door test for air infiltration (leaks). Jeanene had Kousma Insulation from Willard add cellulose insulation in the walls and attic. Kousma uses a highpressure dense pack system and was able to add an amazing 80 percent of the new-construction estimate to the house walls — and the house was already insulated with fiberglass batts. “Obviously, the old fiberglass was not enough,” she says.

Very happy with the work by Kousma Insulation

Jeanene Stover is very happy with the comfort and savings she gets from sealing up air leaks, improving her homes insulation and the installation of her new efficient exterior doors.

“The blower door test found several leaks,” Jeanene recalls. “The biggest was in the basement under the sill plate on top of the foundation wall. It was like a hurricane blowing in there but you couldn’t see anything different, you couldn’t see outside or anything.”

The “before” blower door test registered nearly 6,000 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air moving through the house, and the “after” test found only about 1,100 CFM with the air leaks plugged, an 82 percent reduction in air infiltration. “They found and fixed a whole lot of air leaking in and out of the house,” said Lee Bohland. “That much infiltration — you can’t be comfortable. And when you think about the cost of heating all the air that was leaking out — it’s a waste of energy and money.”

Jeanene is very happy with all her improvements. She is hopeful that her heating bills will drop a bit, but she says the most important thing is that she is warm and comfortable now — with no cold drafts! Visit our website — — for energy saving advice and helpful appliance calculators, or contact us at 800-533-8658.