Monday, September 30, 2013


Earlier this year, we decided to improve our home's energy efficiency. So far we have focused on reducing the amount of outside air we heat and cool. We even started noticing a positive change in our utility bill! Every month our energy consumption was still higher than the control group, but when the group went down, we went down a bit more and when the group's use went up, ours went up less I was feeling good that we were on the right track. Then it finally got hot, and we turned on the Air Conditioner and the bill came. It was even worse than I thought it would be. We rose drastically higher than the control group. Now what?

We contacted a friend in the heating and cooling industry and he stopped by to assess the situation. He found that we weren't properly ventilated. The blower on the furnace/AC was having to work extra hard to find the air it needed to function. It was literally sucking air between the cracks of the basement door which was almost always closed! No wonder I was constantly needing to dust around the door and the trim, I've always thought that was weird.

We immediately spotted a couple of easy ways to increase air flow, and will have to run duct work to the second floor soon, but for now we removed the door on the laundry shoot. We have only ever used it for the kids to play telephone and to drop stuff down. The laundry is in a different part of the basement, so there is no perceived loss. I still need to pick up a grate to cover the hole, but until then we still get to enjoy the airflow.

We also found a wall cavity that had an opening in the floor to the basement. Careful measurement showed us exactly which wall it ran too.
Doesn't the white ceiling make you smile?

Then it was just a matter of marking a hole. I made a template from a wall plate we purchased and drew it on the wall after making sure it was level.

Using a drywall saw I cut on my pencil lines.

I got lucky and found studs behind the drywall where my screw holes were. So I just screwed them right in. I could have used wall anchors if I hadn't.

Vacuumed my mess on the carpet, then went to the basement and cleaned up the drywall dust there too.

Now when the blower is on, we can feel a pretty good breeze sweeping through the house that we never could before. I can't wait to see how much of a difference this small change makes on our bill.
I hung it a bit higher than the baseboards, because I usually have something sitting on the floor here. Not always a Bocce set, but always something.

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