Most utility companies offer cash incentives or loans to make energy efficient upgrades to your home. You may be eligible for utility incentives for making your home more comfortable and efficient. To find out if your home qualifies and what your utility offers, check the link for the utility that serves your home. Rebate programs are based on the primary heating fuel (gas or electric) used by your home. If you heat with electricity use the link for the electric company. If you heat with natural gas, use the ETO link.
In addition to cash incentives and loan programs from your local utility you may also be eligible for an Oregon State Tax Credit for making energy efficiency upgrades to your home. Please note that Premium Efficiency does not give tax advice.
Airtight, Tested Right: Blower Door Tests for Contractors
Looking for Hazardous Pollutants in Kitchens
Measured Home Performance: Assessment with a Infrared Camera
Weatherization: Attic Air Sealing
Home Performance Terminology
Infiltration and Exfiltration
You pay to heat and cool the air in your home. For every cubic foot of air that leaves the house through cracks and gaps (exfiltration), another cubic foot of air must enter (infiltration). When unconditioned outside air is pulled into the home, it can make the heating system work harder and introduce contaminated air from crawl spaces and basements.
The Stack Effect is two pronged: it results from warm air rising and escaping through the top of the home as well as cold air being drawn in to replace the warm air that escaped. This driving force actively pushes the conditioned air out of the house. The more air leakage opportunities, the greater the driving force. Two story houses and homes with high ceilings are more susceptible to the stack effect than single story homes with average ceiling heights.
Indoor Air Quality
We spend much of our time indoors. Recent studies have found that poor Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, are a leading factor to asthma and other negative health effects. Crawl spaces are dirty and can contain moisture, animal waste, gases, dust, insulation fibers and debris; none of which contribute to healthy air. A study from Washington State University found that up to 40% of the air in homes comes from the crawl space. To keep that unhealthy air out of the house, the air leakage opportunities between the living spaces and crawl spaces needs to be properly sealed. Build it tight and ventilate right!
Did you know that air currents are responsible for 98% of the moisture and water movement in your home? The removal of bulk moisture through bath and kitchen fans is critical for healthy indoor air quality. Many homes have large open chases that connect the crawls space and attics. If these chases are not properly sealed, they can pull moisture-laden crawl space air through the home and into the attic. Once in the attic, the moist air condenses and can cause excessive moisture problems. Air sealing and an effective vapor barrier in the crawl space is the first steps towards a healthy home.
Don't be afraid of a tight building shell! Leaky homes use uncontrolled ventilation through gaps and cracks, which can introduce unhealthy air. A tight home with good ventilation will control where the air in your home comes from. Quality bath exhaust fans are a great place to begin. We can help to measure the air flow of bath fans and confirm that they are properly ducted to remove moisture. Homes that test too tight may want to consider better fans with automated controls such as count down timers, humidity sensors or occupancy sensors. Exceptionally tight homes may require fresh air intakes or even Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) to provide fresh air to the home and its occupants.
Fans that move air from inside the house to outside (bath fans, kitchen exhaust hoods, dryers, central vacuums) can cause sections of the home (or even the entire home) to become depressurized. This can create a potentially hazardous situation in homes that use natural gas, wood stoves or fireplaces. Severe depressurization can cause these appliances to backdraft. We use diagnostic equipment to identify and provide solutions to these potential hazardous situations.
Insulation comes in many different forms such as fiberglass, cellulose or foam insulation. All forms of insulation are rated with an R-Value. The higher the R-Value, the greater thermal performance. R-Values can be added together to get a total R-Value. R-Values can be greatly diminished if materials are not installed properly. If air leakage opportunities are not addressed prior to installing or if insulation materials are compressed or not in contact with the surface the R-Value is greatly diminished.
"Zach and his staff are extremely efficient, friendly and professional. The cost for our inspections were very reasonable. Zach is extremely thorough with his inspections and saved us from buying a house with an awful water leak that would have potentially been very costly to repair. We are very grateful for this.
We went with premium efficiency for our Inspection on the second house which fortunately was in much better condition. With Zack's beautifully printed report we were even able to negotiate with our sellers for minor maintenance repairs. We will use premium efficiency for any of our future inspection needs and would highly recommend them to anyone! Thank you Zach to you and your team!"
- Amber G.
"Being a real estate broker, I highly recommend Zach at Premium Efficiency for Home Inspections. I Myself and my clients have had the pleasure to work with Zach. In all instances he was friendly, on time, had great communication with both me and my clients, and did a very thorough job on his home inspections. His report was very easy to read and it presented very nicely with lots of photos and highlighted text. The turnaround time on the report always exceeds expectation. My clients have been happy each time I have recommended him. I also used Premium Efficiency for my personal real estate transaction. Through Zach's inspection, he caught several issues with the house that ended up saving me nearly $25,000 when it was all said and done."
- Jessica H.
"We recently hired Premium Efficiency to do a home inspection for us. I couldn't be more impressed with Zach's thoroughness, attention to detail and prompt follow-up both in delivering the in-depth report which he provided, and response to my questions after it was complete. Premium Efficiency uncovered things with our home which many people wouldn't notice, enabling us to have a much better negotiating position in the sale. Further, Zach was able to provide more detail than you can imagine about the energy-efficiency of the home and the heating equipment in it. Premium Efficiency delivers, by far, the best value of any home inspection company in the Willamette Valley."
- Rick F.
"We are so happy that we hired Zach to do our home inspection on our new house! He was incredibly thorough and did a great job walking us through each part of the house showing us what things he found. He discovered several minor issues that needed to be addressed, and we were able to get them resolved with the sellers before we closed on the house. It gave us piece of mind knowing so much about the house before we moved in. I would absolutely recommend him to anyone!"
- Julie K.
"I'm super grateful you recommended the air sealing and insulation at my house. With temps 100+ degrees outside today it's only 75 inside. It used to be much hotter. Thanks again!"