Do you ever go into someone’s house (or even in your own) and see fans everywhere in the summer or space heaters in the winter? Do you or they have the super duper air filtration system on the HVAC unit? How about the high end blinds or drapes that are supposed the block the solar heat from coming into your home? All of these situations have one thing in common. They are designed to treat symptoms, but not the problems. Not to mention that they are expensive, can be dangerous, or are noisy.
One of the biggest complaints you hear about doctors these days is that many of them are more interested in prescribing a pill to treat your symptoms then taking the time to find out what is actually causing the problem. Yet as home owners, we do it every day and don’t think twice about it. I was recently in a house that had all the aforementioned band aids listed above. During that week it got into to the high 80’s during the day. Then a cold front came through and it dropped into the high 40’s at night. During the hot days, these people’s house was a noisy dark cave. When it got cold again you had to watch where you stepped so you didn’t knock over a space heater and start a fire. Is that really how you want to live?
The problem with the band aid mentality is that it doesn’t fix the actual issue. AND after adding up all the costs of the band aids, for a little more or even a little less, you could have either permanently fixed or greatly improved the problem you were having in the first place. Unfortunately, most home owners don’t know how to properly diagnose the problem, so they automatically go into band aid mode.
That’s where bringing in a true professional with a background in building science can be a HUGE benefit. Having an energy audit performed on your home can not only help to diagnose your problems, but explain to you why your treatment of the symptoms is not working. The auditor can also set you on a path to actually fixing your issues so you don’t waste more money on band aids. If you’re lucky, they will also offer contracting services so they can fix the problems in accordance to the original findings. Now the money you spend can be based on actual science, not a sales pitch.
So the next time you go into someone else’s home (or even your own) and you see fans, drawn shades, or space heaters, or they show you this new expensive high tech air filtration system they bought, tell them to call for an energy audit. You’ll be helping them to tear the band aids away from their home and let the true healing begin. And as always…….don’t throw money at your problems, throw knowledge, it’s a lot cheaper.