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Victorian Home Warms Up for Winter

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Jared Duval and his son.
Photo credit: MEAC

Source: Kate Stephenson (MEAC)

Jared Duval and his wife Joan were interested in a thermal update on the Victorian home in Montpelier they had just purchased. The rubble/brick/granite foundation, including the leaky bulkhead door area, was badly in need of air sealing and insulation, and part of it was caving in and in need of attention. The attic had only a few inches of old chopped fiberglass and cellulose — with only an R-value of about 8. The ceiling above an office had fiberglass batts above a suspended ceiling — talk about not being air-tight! Think about nothing between you and the outdoors except a leaky suspended ceiling.

EnergySmart did a top and bottom retrofit on this big old home — insulating the above grade portions of the basement with closed cell spray foam and doing a thorough retrofit of the attic and office ceiling — at a cost of $11,000. They improved the air quality of the home by covering the dirt floor in the basement with a vapor barrier and ducting the bathroom fan correctly. Jared and Joan scrapped the old oil furnace and are able to heat the whole Victorian home comfortably with a pellet stove.

Starting blower-door test: 5,000
Final blower-door test: 2,500
Reduction in air leakage: 50%