Winners of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas' 2010 Energy Makeover, Bill & Mary Quilhot, tell their story about the improvements to their house.
We've done it! Thanks to everyone's hard work, generous contributions and teamwork, Makeover 2010 is finished. To all the sponsoring vendors we offer up a generous "thank you" for your makeover component. Collectively, they made a huge improvement to the dwelling. So, We're pleased to report the Quilhot's house now joins the list of growing energy efficiency improvement success stories. You may recall the original "as found" air infiltration test result was very leaky 1.42 air changes per hour. However, our final blower-door test revealed the outcome was .6 air changes or a 58% improvement. We often find many new homes are not even that tight!
As we wrap up yet another successful project I want to give a heartfelt thanks to the makeover team. You guys were awesome. Being away from home and family for almost 25 nights, over seven weeks, and living out of a suitcase was no easy task. So, we want to personally thank you for your commitment to the electric cooperatives and for the education of energy efficiency. You guys were great and we appreciate your hard work!
Also, We're please to report the Water Furnace geothermal heat pump is working splendidly and so far it's usage is averaging 11 kilowatt hours daily at a cost of approximately $1.10 per day. Thank you Don Brown and Rood Heating and Cooling!
Thanks again Steph Boles and Marathon for their generous contribution of Marathon water heaters for the makeover project and our 16 finalists!
Many thanks to Mark Barr and the Harry G. Barr Window Company for providing the energy efficient windows. They are performing nicely!
The reduction in air infiltration is a testimony for Tommy Gracy/BPSI Foam Insulators. The foam application to the roof decking, crawlspace perimeter walls and floor joist greatly reduced the air infiltration and resulted in a major reduction in structural heat gain and losses. Thanks again Tommy!
The Energy Star appliances supplied by General Electric are functioning nicely with less operating amperage and wattage. Both electrical values equate to $avings! For instance the old Wards freezer was using five-kilowatt hours daily. The new GE counterpart is only consuming one kilowatt daily! Plus the GE refrigeration is touted to consume only $70 annually! Fantastic!
The 3M tinting provided by American Window Tint is outstanding. Our FLIR B360 infrared camera revealed the product reduced the interior heat gain by 15%. A definite plus for air-conditioning climates like Arkansas! Thanks guys!
And thanks to Don Willard and ABC/Bradco for supplying new roof shingles and materials to protect the newest makeover project! They were installed very professionally by Teddy Kalke and crew. Great work men!
Lastly, everyone is invited to attend our Makeover 2010 dedication event next Wednesday, September 29. The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the makeover site. I hope you will join us! We look forward to seeing you! Thanks again to all and we wish you all the best.
We now have light (energy-efficient that is) at the end of the tunnel as we reach the end of work week six and the 20th day of onsite activity. Great job team and sponsors as we conclude another very productive week!
You may recall the original five window air-conditioning units. They were removed this week since the new geothermal unit is functional.
The Water Furnace Envision geothermal heat pump is operating splendidly and the domestic hot water feature is working nicely. The heat pump has consumed a mere 70 kilowatt-hours in first six days of operation. In other words, at about a cost of $1.10 daily for central air-conditioning and hot water. Nice!
Makeover sponsor BPSI Foam Insulation returned this week to apply the closed-cell foam insulation to the crawlspace perimeter walls and open-cell foam to the underside of the floors. Our initial audit revealed a tremendous amount of air-infiltration from this area. The foam insulation will reduce the air infiltration and serves as a thermal and moisture barrier. All of which will lead to lower utility costs and increased comfort.
American Window Tint applied a 3M window film to the huge picture window in the living room. And what a difference it made! As a reminder, this picture window is double-pane "clear glass" with what appears to be a UV coating, but no Low-E coating. We performed a pre-application test with the FLIR B360 infrared camera. To put the film to the test, we set the IR camera in the advanced mode and set the parameters as required for the living room T-reflective, humidity, distance, etc. Pre-application temperatures from solar heat gain were 98 degrees on the surface of the interior glass and 105 degrees on the carpet.
Following a planned 30-minute break after application, the post-application test revealed the surface of the glass was still 98 degrees. BUT the temperature of the carpet was now only 88 degrees. The window film application resulted in a 15% reduction of heat gain from the sun. And just in case you are wondering, the sun was out during both tests, which were conducted within 45 minutes of one another. The reduction of the solar heat gain will create a more comfortable environment in this room during hot summer days.
More good news to report this week is the arrival of the Energy Star appliances. The old 1977 Montgomery Ward freezer was consuming five kilowatt-hours daily, or $181 annually. Our Kill-O-Watt usage meter revealed the new General Electric Energy Star replacement is only using one kilowatt-hour daily! Reduced energy consumption of the new G.E. freezer will equate to about a $142 annual savings. And the new GE refrigerator Energy Star is forecasted to have an electric consumption cost of only $62 per year!
The makeover team has been very busy this week restoring the home's interior back to its original condition. This has required very tedious and labor-intensive carpentry work, sheet rock hanging and the repetitive coats of finish and trim work. The team is also installing doors, finishing ceilings with a texture process and reinstalling fixtures. This will continue next week until complete. Also scheduled for next week is replacement of the old roof. Materials are being supplied by the Bradco company and local contractor T.K. Enterprise will conduct the work. A final comprehensive energy audit including a caulking/sealing package, blower-door and duct blaster test is scheduled for next week.
Stay tuned for more details and be sure to join us for the completion dedication scheduled for Wednesday, September 29. Details will be released next week from our internal communications team.
Even the torrential rainfall produced by tropical storm Hermine and zero visibility fog couldn't wash out the makeover team. In spite of the rainy weather, week five of Makeover 2010 was action packed. But, before we move onto the progress report, Mary Quilhot pointed out an interesting observation. Even though the makeover has been underway for five weeks, we've made significant progress during 17 actual workdays out of a possible 25. Great job makeover team and sponsors!!
Rood Heating and Air arrived this week and installed the central HVAC system. Also assisting was Don Brown the area sales manager for Water Furnace Geothermal. The Quilhot's home will be heated and cooled with an ultra-efficient Water Furnace Envision geothermal heat pump. The 3-ton unit is one of the most energy efficient units available to the retail market. Plus, the unit contains a domestic hot water feature that will preheat water while the unit is operating. Commonly called a de-superheater, this feature provides free hot water as a byproduct of cooling and heating. The preheated water will be stored in the Marathon water heater, which provides a storage means without costly standby losses.
The makeover team and Rood HVAC also installed a 6-mil plastic moisture barrier on the crawlspace floor.
While Rood HVAC was busy installing the central HVAC system, the makeover team was busy removing the old 1940's vintage Toastmaster water heater. Once the unit was removed, the Marathon was plumbed, wired and making hot water in no time. The team also continued hanging and finishing sheet rock.
Interior ceiling repairs will continue into week six. Tommy Gracy with BPSI Foam Insulation and American Window Tinting are scheduled to arrive next week. BPSI will foam the crawlspace and perimeter walls. American Window Tint will apply a 3M window film to the huge picture window in the living room. And say goodbye to the window air-conditioning units. They will be removed for good now that the geothermal unit is in full operation.
We are still awaiting arrival acknowledgement of the Energy Star appliances. Once the appliances are in place and interior finishing complete, our team of energy auditors from several distribution cooperatives will complete the final caulk & seal package. A final blower-door and duct blaster test will also be performed. Stay tuned for more details.
Week four of Makeover 2010 is in the books. Our plan to finish the outside components first, paid off because the rains began to fall this week. But, the week was not a washout nor did it hamper Buckman Well Drilling from installing the geothermal loops. Buckman installed three, 200 foot, vertical loops for the three-ton, Water Furnace Envision geothermal heat pump. Most of the drilling below eight feet was through rock…which is a good thing! A combination of the Bentonite slurry and the solid rock well casing makes an excellent heat exchanger for the system.
Also, the makeover team was busy this week finishing the labor-intensive process of trimming out the window exteriors. Both thermal barrier and cosmetic finishing were required to complement the Harry G. Barr Energy Star windows.
The team also removed the old exterior storm doors and entry doors. New high-efficiency storm doors and access doors were installed.
As the rain fell, the team moved indoors and began hanging sheetrock to restore the interior ceilings and walls to their pre-makeover condition.
Energy Star appliances from General Electric are on order.
We have big plans for week five and welcome our HVAC contractor, Rood Heating and Air from Russellville, Arkansas. Rood will begin outfitting the Quilhot’s house for a central heating and air system. Once the geothermal system is up and running, the window air conditioning units will be removed. The makeover team will continue finishing the interiors by hanging and finishing sheetrock and assist Rood as needed.
Progress videos and photos are now up and running.
Week three of Makeover 2010 is history and the break in the heat and humidity was a welcome relief to the team. And even though the temperatures only reached the upper 80's this week, the roof temperature still measured 161 degrees with the FLIR infrared camera. But, the Sealection 500 foam was doing its job by thwarting the heat gain from reaching the conditioned air space.
Work began this week restoring the window frames to their "like found" condition. But, first we had to fill the uninsulated voids that previously accommodated the counterweights for the old wood framed windows. These voids were prime locations for air infiltration and exfiltration. A perfect remedy for those air voids is a low expanding foam insulation available at all building supply and retail stores.
According to our calculations each window weight trough was approximately 960 cubic inches or 1,920 cubic inches per window since there are two troughs per window. 1,920 cubic inches also equates to 13.3 cubic feet. The Quilhot's house had ten of these types of windows and the total amount of uninsulated window trough space equated to approximately 133.3 square feet. This volume is expected to be a significant contributor to the overall 1.42 air changes per hour.
The team also changed out an old sliding glass door with a new Harry G. Barr Energy Star door.
The fireplace flue damper was inoperable allowing air to infiltrate and exfiltrate through the fireplace. So, the team installed a Lock-Top chimney cap damper that will seal the fireplace at the top of the chimney. A chimney sweep flange was also installed so the chimney can be serviced. The unique system has a cable that runs up the chimney to the cap. The cap is constructed with a stainless steel lid attached to a cast aluminum frame by an array of stainless steel springs. A 30' cable that is dropped down the chimney and operated with a handle mounted in the firebox. Just a tug on the handle will open or tightly close the Lock-Top making the fireplace airtight to mother nature.
After a half-day of investigative work, we learned the exterior walls of the makeover house consist of a layer of native 1" pine lumber, two layers of asphalt siding, one layer of foam board and the exterior vinyl siding. The exterior wall cavities are packed full of rock wool insulation. The existing condition made it quite difficult and cost prohibitive to install the RetroFoam insulation. The energy efficiency performance of the existing sidewalls is not as effective as a foam or cellulose insulated wall, but is better than an uninsulated structure. Additional analysis will take place during subsequent blower door tests.
The General Electric Appliance division representative was on hand to measure for the Energy Star replacement appliances.
More improvement yet to come are the installation of the geothermal loops, the central HVAC system, restoration of the interior ceilings and walls, installation of the Energy Star appliances, crawlspace insulation with moisture barrier and the 3M window tinting to the large picture window in the living room.
Thanks again to everyone for partnering with us on this rewarding and educational project! Week four coming up!
What an awesome and productive week number 2 in spite of a continuation of triple-digit temperatures. The makeover team is to be complimented for their encouraging spirit all while enduring the extreme hot weather conditions. Even though the heat is tough on humans, it's perfect for infrared thermal imaging. We were able to learn more about heat gain and the lack of performance from fiberglass insulation.
This week, BPSI foam insulators stymied the heat gain on the roof decking with their high-performance Demilac Sealection 500 spray foam. And they are hoping to begin filling the wall cavities with RetroFoam next week.
The Harry G. Barr "Weatherbarr" ENERGYSTAR® windows arrived this week. The new windows proudly display the NFRC sticker with a U-factor of .32 and a SHGC of .28! Simply marvelous! All were installed except for the windows that are supporting the window air-conditioning units. The remaining windows will be changed when the central HVAC is functional.
The Marathon water heater installation was put on hold until the central HVAC and Water Furnace geothermal heat pump are installed. That said, Rood HVAC and Water Furnace eagerly await the installation of the geothermal loops late next week.
General Electric will be in next week to measure for ENERGYSTAR® replacement appliances. It's a good thing - we learned this week that the 1977 Montgomery Ward chest freezer is using $15-$20 monthly!
Also on tap for next week is restoration of the ceilings that were removed for the insulation process.
Thanks again to everyone for partnering with us on this rewarding and educational project! Week three coming up!
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Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas energy auditors use thermography, or infrared scanning to detect thermal defects and air leaking in and out of building envelopes.
WOW! What an awesome and productive week. Energy Efficiency Makeover 2010 is off and running. The construction crew is to be complimented for their tenacity during the demolition phase.
Removal of decades old fiberglass insulation and construction materials in 100+ degree weather was no easy chore. The team would make Discovery Channel's Mike Rowe proud! Doing so has prepared the way for BPSI foam insulators.
Now that the old storm windows have been removed, the team eagerly awaits that "new window smell" and sight of a low-E, low-U and low SHGC sticker. They also are in the acquisition mode for some new boat anchors. They can't wait to get a couple of the seasoned window weights from the old single-hung wood windows. It's looking like Mark Barr could have the replacements ready for installation next week!
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Bill and Mary Quilhot of Gassville received a surprise visit on Friday, Aug. 6 when a small caravan of cooperative staff and media arrived with a ceremonial check, flowers, balloons and television cameras in tow. They had been informed that they were finalists and would either receive a Marathon water heater or the grand prize.
A lone North Arkansas Electric Cooperative van first pulled into the driveway, while the rest of the caravan parked along the highway near the house. When she saw the van, she at first thought they had only won the Marathon. Then, when she saw others walking to the house, she knew the grand prize was theirs.
Mary said that she was “shocked and blown away” during an interview, shortly after learning that she and her husband had won the contest. More than 2,000 electric cooperative members from across the state applied for the makeover, which is in its third year.
“This is unreal,” she said, adding that she and her husband, who retired to the home 15 years ago from a Chicago suburb, could not have afforded to do such improvements to their home in the aftermath of the recession.
“We have had to stop improving this house,” Bill said.
As the winners of the 2010 Energy Efficiency Home Makeover, the Quilhot’s home is about to become a model of energy efficiency and comfort.
The couple’s home has been in the Quilhot family since 1942. It has 1,390 square feet and is cooled with five window air conditioning units. For the past year, the couple has been using about 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. The average electric cooperative member uses about 1,100 kilowatt-hours per month.
A blower door test revealed that the home had 1.42 air changes per hour, which means that 142 percent of the air in the house changed with outside air every hour. Ideally this figure should be 25 to 30 percent.
The following plan of attack is set to deploy over the next couple of months:
The makeover is valued at up to $50,000. Much of the work, equipment and supplies will be donated or discounted by sponsors. Those are: Rood Heating and Air of Russellville; BPSI Foam Insulation/Tommy Gracy; Harry G. Barr Company; Doug Rye; Marathon Water Heaters, American Window Tinting and Water Furnace.