Posts Tagged ‘Hayward’

Home Energy Makeover: In their own words

October 2, 2013

The home’s air conditioning had not worked for quite some time. Because of their son’s condition, air conditioning & heating are a priority. But as any good home performance job should go, the whole house was part of the work.  Air sealing the home, wall and attic insulation, new heating & cooling system including ductwork, were all done.  In addition some roof repairs, minor plumbing and electrical repairs were done too.  The video captured from the Fresno Bee really tells the story best.

 

 

Distributors and local companies that Allbritten works with have stepped up by providing equipment or services at little to no cost including Sigler (a distributor of Carrier), FASCO, Trust-All Roofing, Roth Crane, Tinch Howard Sheet Metal, and others,  allowing Allbritten to do more for the family committing additional money to the project.

It’s a great group of employees in a great company doing the right thing.  Not too much more can be said, they’ve said it themselves.

Thanks,

Jason

Mandatory Common Sense

March 18, 2013

We often preach “reduce first” as the sensable approach for homeowners who are looking at installing expensive renewable energy.  It just makes sense.  If it costs a lot to install solar panels, make your home more efficient first reducing the number you need, and then install less of them!  Same goes for heating and cooling equipment.  Reduce the need for cooling or heating and install a smaller unit.

sun wiki

As reported by KCET, one town in California may be looking at mandatory solar panels on every roof.  Lancaster CA, a city of 160,000, is one of the top three cities for generating solar.  Clearly it’s an area that has succeeded with solar as you would expect in such a sunny place.

Using solar to help reduce energy costs for lighting, water heating, and air conditioning is all well and good, but there are some simple steps to take first.  Improvements such as adding efficient lighting, reducing air leaks and increasing insulation go a long way and cost far less.  Our GreenHomes America folks in Fresno, Hayward, San Jose, Los Banos, and San Diego, know that, how a home performs matters a great deal, and they know solar too.

I vote for mandatory common sense with a side order of solar!

Thanks,

Jason

 image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun

Congratulations to GreenHomes Partner ABC Cooling and Heating!

May 8, 2012

GreenHomes America Partner ABC Cooling and Heating, was recently presented the 2012 Energy Upgrade California Highest Performance Award.  This award is presented to the contractor that has completed the highest number of Home Performance projects within the PG&E territory in the state of California.

This is a significant achievement since 75% of all Energy Upgrade California projects were completed in the PG&E territory.  I won’t steal ABC’s thunder but, collectively GreenHomes America Partner locations have performed close to half of all completions in the State of California!   I know this won’t be the last award we will see from ABC Cooling and Heating!

Jerry Unruh
President & Owner

We’re proud to support ABC Cooling and Heating’s locations in Fresno and Hayward as they perform both energy assessments and upgrades from Santa Clara County/SF Bay Area to the Central San Joaquin Valley.  Their dedication to quality, hard work and customer service has paid great dividends.

Rest assured that when a GreenHomes America Partner works on your home, those dividends will be more than energy savings.  You will experience the service and quality that instills the trust to recommend a company from friend to friend and neighbor to neighbor.


Out of sight, out of mind? Lurking in the depths below, the whole house approach still applies!

September 19, 2011
 
The moon’s surface or a part of the home?

Most of us ignore the spaces under our homes.  What is under there anyway?  For some houses there can be some important stuff such as the heating system or, for every one I’ve been in, the stuff that holds the house up and it’s usually wood, aka “Mold Food”.  Yeah it’s kind of important.

Henry Ford once said “quality means doing it right when no one is looking”.  And for some space in our home this is often a neglected concept.  More likely heard would be “no one is going to see this after I’m done.”  Too often when called in to someone’s home we see things that just weren’t done right the first time.  Duct work is left pinched, restricting flow.  Sometimes it’s left unsealed and un-insulated.   Floor insulation is hastily installed leaving it to droop or fall out.   Un-addressed moisture coming in from the walls or rising up from the ground below attacks metal and wood.  As Mike has mentioned in a previous post, sometimes we know its damp down there because we smell it.   Heating and cooling systems are left to suffer and struggle sent to an early and shallow grave we affectionately call the crawlspace. In one Berkley, California that started with many of this issue, GreenHomes America partner, ABC Cooling, recently worked its magic.

Failing furnace

The heating system in the crawlspace had a long horizontal run which struggling to draft well, ended up rotting away.  The big concern here is that when the venting fails, the flue gasses are left ready to be drawn into the home; exactly where we don’t want them.  This is a typical problem in the Bay area or for that matter anywhere with this kind of configuration.  The big fix here was a super efficient sealed combustion unit.  These units are quite affordable, and the savings from the greater efficiency help to pay for them over time.  

The broader opportunity was a chance to fix the duct work and solve some other underlying weaknesses with the house, from duct work to hot water, to insulation and air-sealing.  It doesn’t make much sense to put a new engine in a car with flat tires, a worn-out starter, and a leaky gas tank.  But fix those problems, and you can have a real gem. Moisture was not a huge issue for this space, but the floor insulation was falling down in some places and in general (as in most homes) we could see there was a need for some air sealing.  With the furnace in the crawl much of the duct work is essentially was left out side.  This is not wrong, it’s just not ideal, and in this scenario it was the only practical place to put it.  (In many homes, we see a similar situation with the equipment up in the attic rather than down in the crawlspace–it’s essentially the same problem just a different location!)

Benjamin Franklin once said something about house guests...

Certainly indoor air quality can be an issue with an unsealed crawlspace.  Soil gasses, contaminated outside air (vented crawlspace in congested traffic area), moisture issues, animal feces, or even animals can raise IAQ concerns.  Dead rats in your furnace return?  Generally considered a problem!

Here are a few pictures to describe what was done:

Space before transformation

Encapsulation material being measured out

Installation in a tight spot
 

barrier installed at perimeter with ductwork insulated and supported

Sprayfoam on the walls

Chris and Kristen, the owners of this charming Berkeley home, have over the years created a wonderful space to raise a family in. Years ago, insulation was added to the home, but still things weren’t quite right.  Part of their discomfort was a poor distribution system for heat.  The new heating and hot water system improvements in the home now not only make it more comfortable but also safer.  

At this point, their home may indeed need new windows. This is not something we often recommend first in many houses since there usually are greater opportunities in other areas that are much less expense.  Their windows are 20 years old and starting to fail, but now the whole house has been treated as cost effectively as possible and windows may make sense next.  Treating the crawlspace really brings it together, adding not only energy savings but just as important, comfort.  As Chris and Kristen noted, “We are thrilled with the results already.  It’s certainly a relief having the dangerous furnace issue fixed.  And we’ve already noticed the floors are more comfortable, and the house quieter.  The guys from ABC Cooling did a great job.”

Start with a home assessment, find out what you really need, and do the job right. It’s as simple as that.  Well, OK, some of you might have to get rid of the rat, first.

“Before” photo credits (including that rat in the ductwork!), to David Hales, Building Systems and Energy Specialist, WSU Extension Energy Program.  

ABC Cooling Up and Running

July 30, 2010

After a couple months of intensive GreenHomes training, we’re on the street in Hayward with ABC Cooling.  And it’s good to see exactly the customer response and satisfaction that we’ve expected.   From Lynne R.,

“As a retired lawyer, I enjoyed watching the expert crew conduct my Comprehensive Home Energy Audit.   Within two days, I had my personal report showing the different ways I could save money and improve my home.”

 This is something we’ve come to expect, but it was nonetheless great to see how engaged she was in the process and how much she wanted to learn from the audit.   It’s good to be able to serve folks in Northern California.

Thanks,
Mike

Welcome ABC Cooling and Heating to the GreenHomes Family!

June 11, 2010

GreenHomes America, the premier national provider of home performance contracting (HPC) has signed a franchise agreement with Hayward, CA-based ABC Cooling and Heating Services, Inc. With the addition of ABC’s multiple locations, GreenHomes America will now be able to provide HPC service to even more of California, where homeowner and government demand for energy efficiency and “green” home improvements is a growing trend.

ABC is a respected, 55-year-old heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) enterprise,
with offices in Hayward and Fresno and more than 40 employees. Over the past 10 years they have helped more than 100,000 homeowners in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and the Central San Joaquin Valley Region.

Read more.

Thanks,
Mike


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