My Walls are Talking, Please Make Them Stop!

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If snow melts away from your house in the dead of winter, you have a problem too.

My Vet and I have been working for a few months to improve our home’s energy footprint. In addition to improving insulation and filling the gaps, I’ve been contemplating spending a few hundred dollars on a Home Energy Audit. Which is when someone comes in and tells you where your home is wasting energy.

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Imagine my surprise when I opened my March 2013 issue of All You. All You is a magazine that is dedicated to saving around the house, and is chock full of coupons that you can’t find anywhere else. It featured a 4 page article on how to invest in your home to improve your bottom line. I read a lot of tips I already knew and turned the page, and there it was in a little pink box on page 106. A Thermal Leak Detector for the DIYer! I could hardly wait for My Vet to get home.

After showing My Vet I was even more excited. He started shopping online right away, then before clicking “buy”, he remembered a friend who already had one! He borrowed it soon after. It works just like a scanner at self check, or when you sign up for a gift registry, this was going to be fun. I started on what always feels like the coldest wall in the house.

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67 degrees Fahrenheit. Not exactly what I expected, maybe I should have tried a colder day? It didn’t make any sense. Then I wondered if the wall was warm because it was reflecting the inside temperature?

I went into a back bedroom were we keep the furnace vents covered and the door closed. and tried to get a more accurate reading.

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Well that’s better. Well not really, but you know what I mean. Hmmmm.. How do I get a more accurate reading in an area that is heated better? I place some snow pants along the base of that wall to insulate that portion from the inside temperature. A few hours later I tested it again.

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Yeah! Crap! That’s a 21 degree difference on the same wall and it’s actually a pretty nice day out. I wonder what the other side of that wall feels like from the outside?

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Ouch! That is a 4.5 degree difference between inside and outside. We suspected this was one of our biggest problem areas, and already plan on attacking it this summer. I just didn’t imagine it was THAT bad! Hopefully that will be the biggest improvement to our enegry consumption.

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