Posts Tagged ‘John Scipione’

Happy Customers–one of the reasons I love my job

November 9, 2010

A home performance approach allows us to really figure out what’s going on in a house.  This in turn let’s us provide real solutions that actually address people’s problems in their current homes.  The result is better, safer, and more energy-efficient homes.  And happy customers.  This is something we at GreenHomes are proud of and work very hard at to make sure it happens time and time again.  Thanks to the Murphy’s for sharing their story.


The trials and tribulations of a GreenHomes Advisor

August 24, 2010

Our Advisors and installation technicians see a lot of crazy stuff.  From attics doubling as bat caves to rattlesnakes in the crawlspace.

And to complicate the education process we go through with all of our customers, here John Scipione has to deal with a parakeet building a nest on his head.  (We can assure you that John was bird-free during his morning inspection at the office.)

A Customer Discusses Solar PV

August 19, 2010

John Scipione and a customer discuss a recently installed solar PV project in this video.

More bad duct adventures…

August 2, 2010

We could probably host a 24/7 blog highlighting nothing but poor duct work.  Again, from the all-too-common leaky duct category, is the following.  Your standard cloth duct tape may be good for holding together ankles and boots, but it doesn’t work for keeping ducts sealed–and it certainly isn’t intended to hold them together.  Would you rather cool your bedroom or your attic?

This doesn’t even look as sound as the cardboard cobble job.  Just use whatever you have on the truck…

Of course, we weren’t expecting much finding this creative installation–the furnace attached to the above masterpiece.

Caveat emptor.  [Thanks, John, for another round of beauties.]


Vent those bath fans to the outside–NOT into the attic

July 25, 2010

One of the things we look at in homes is the ventilation.  I’ll write more about that in the coming months.  The short version is that good ventilation is necessary to protect your health and your home.

Wait! You say.  Aren’t you making my home tighter with all that air-sealing?  But I need ventilation to bring air in? 

Yes, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.  In my view, the perfect home would be perfectly tight, with no “natural” exchange of air—but allow you to determine both the rate of air-exchange, and where an how it comes from.  But we’ll save that for another day.  Right now, I’m going to focus on the bathroom—in part because GreenHomes Advisor John Scipione just found another doozy, this one in Fresno, CA.

Bathroom ventilation is particularly important to remove excess moisture (and heat in the summer).  Pulling out this moisture at its source helps prevent the mold and mildew from growing, and that a good thing.

Most of the bathrooms we see have poor ventilation, either no fans or cheap rattle traps which make a lot of noise but don’t move much air.  Adding a well-functioning exhaust is something I highly recommend.

I’ve talked before (maybe putting the cart before the horse?) about the Panasonic and Renewaire bath fans that I like.  Excellent choices.   And keep making good choices by exhausting the air directly to the outside via ducts, and not just into an attic or some other space in the house.  If your contractor says it’s OK to vent into the attic, the best solution may be to find a new contractor.   Dumping moist bathroom air into the attic can help rot your roof.  And remember those ice dams we’ve talked about?  In snow country, exhausting your bath fan into the attic—with all that warm air—is a recipe for ice dams (and more on ice dams).  Don’t do it!

Three bathroom fans exhausting into an attic

Please don't exhaust your bathroom fans into the attic!

Which brings me back to what John found in Fresno.  Exhausting one bath fan into the attic is bad enough.  How about three?  And if you’re going to do three, why not tie them together to concentrate the problem?  At least the installed helped with a well-organized bad practice.  Don’t do it!  Vent to the outside.


It’s time to call a new HVAC contractor…

June 25, 2010

Syracuse Advisor John Scipione (we call him “The Master”), passed along a couple more doozies today, more examples of the real life conditions that we run across all too often.

From the “Joists?  We don’t need no stinkin’ joists!” Department, here an unwise contractor decided to figuratively cut corners, and literally cut a floor joist right out.  Folks, these joists are there for a reason.  Namely, to hold your floor up and keep it from bouncing!   The contractor also left a chunk of wood being held up by the electric wiring.  My inspector wouldn’t like that!  We can fix this, but you shouldn’t let a contractor get away with it to begin with.

And why fix an oil leak when you’ve got a bucket (hey, maybe BP should try this)?  An open bucket of fuel oil doesn’t smell too nice in the basement.  Probably a couple other concerns with that, too? 

If your system looks like this, get help!  And one lesson for today is make sure you choose a quality contractor.


DIY Ductwork

June 15, 2010

As a follow-on to yesterday’s post about the DIY furnace horror story, John Scipione, a Senior Advisor in our Syracuse office, forwarded a shot of a furnace he ran across during an audit.  Many people know (and many more do not!) that your garden variety duct tape is good for lots of things, but not sealing ducts.  In this picture, sure enough, we can see some failing duct tape.  😉   That, however, is only part of the problem on this do-it-yourself duct job.  But at least this homeowner did find something to do with those old moving boxes!  And I do confess to a certain admiration for that can-do ingenuity.  Nonetheless, this example is not a good illustration of the fast road to energy-efficiency and a well performing home.

Another example of energy problems around recessed lights

December 22, 2009

Syracuse-based Senior Advisor John Scipione forwards this all-too-common photo from the field illustrating efficiency problems with recessed “can” lighting.  You can see light leaking through and around the fixture–air from inside the house is doing the same.  And because this fixture isn’t rated for insulation contact, the insulation has to be kept away.  Learn more about how to address this.

Energy weak points around recessed light fixture--air leaks and poor insulation.

Energy weak points around recessed light fixture.

[Side note–it you can see the tops of 6″ joists in your adequate above the insulation–you probably don’t have enough insulation.]


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