Last night’s talk, presented by Yves Vetter of Vesta Home Performance and hosted by Ballard residents Brian and Seonaidh, was super informative. Yves broke down three of the most common reasons people decide to retrofit their home: 1) they’re curious why and where their home is leaking so much energy; 2) they have to replace a broken piece of equipment; or 3) they’re remodeling their home and want to make some smart energy upgrades at the same time.
Of the three paths, people stand to save the most money by adding insulation, sealing drafts, and upgrading HVAC equipment when they do it concurrently with other construction. One takeaway: don’t redo your roof without also having a home energy expert take a look and do some work, if needed.
Yves pointed out that most homes–new and old alike–have some pretty glaring problems, and the first step is to correct those. He says that they offer a “SWAT” program in which their team goes in, finds all the leaks and messy air quality and comfort problems, and corrects the worst offenders, all in one day for a flat fee of about $2,500-$3,000.
People had some great questions that ranged from theoretical (“Is it true that heat recovery ventilators aren’t worth the expense in our climate?”) to specific problems (“How can I insulate the flat roof of a 1950’s house?”).
The evening ended with a tour of the house’s sealed crawl space, a job Vesta had performed several years ago.
All in all, a great night. Thanks to Yves and the entire Vesta team for making it happen, and special thanks to Brian and Seonaidh for generously opening their beautiful, 4-Star Built Green home to a crowd of curious Ballardites who wanted to learn about home energy retrofitting.