November 20, 2014

By Eric Elwell WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio Wednesday, November 19, 2014 View Original Article COLUMBUS, Ohio - Project Prepare is getting your home ready for what could be a brutal winter.

Jamie Thompson agreed to have an AEP Home Energy Audit. The audit determines where cold air is getting in and his hard earned money is getting out.

“I just wanted to see how my house would perform under an energy audit, because it is gaining in age, and being all electric with rising prices, I just wanted to see where the faults may be,” said Jamie.

Like most central Ohioans, he is trying to keep his utility costs down as a bitter winter cold arrives early.

“It helps the customer identify and prioritize areas where they can invest their money to help drive energy efficiency, and then it maps it to the rebates available from AEP to help offset those costs,” said Ben Goldmen, AEP In Home Efficiency Program Manager.

In order to find out where cold air drafts are getting in to a home, crews have install a blower door. It puts a 25 mile per hour wind on the house. The fan simulates a cold wind hitting the house. By doing that, technicians can go around and see where that cold air is getting in.

Using an infrared thermal camera, Thomas Greene from Greene Solutions, immediately spotted the first trouble spot around Jamie’s door leading to the garage.

“So we see the cold where the weather stripping is missing. And then see how it stops right where the weather stripping starts,” said Greene.

The same problems were found around windows, although the windows themselves were in good shape.

“It looks like there is some caulking around here, but that's the thing, that caulking breaks down after a while, and that's where I'm feeling it here, right in the corner there. You can see right along the bottom,” explained Greene.

Greene checked out the basement. He says that even though you may have a high-efficiency furnace, it may not be running efficiently.

“If your ducts leak, it runs harder, runs longer, burns out. If something is running all the time. Your bills are running higher. Something the homeowner can do with the HVAC tape, some silicone or duct-mastic. Basically the easiest way to do it you would turn on your HVAC system so you can feel it and you would around and you feel a leak, do it up yourself.”

Greene says by simply spending a few dollars to repair or replace caulking, weather stripping or insulation, you could save yourself a lot of money over the cold winter months ahead. It’s something Jamie is ready to do.

“It is just an eye opening experience to see how much money you are losing.”