Mold can be a serious problem in our soggy northwest climate, particularly when it is hiding undetected in homes. Mold resulting from poor ventilation, improper insulation, and lack of airflow in attics and walls can damage building structures and items stored in the area. More frighteningly, undetected mold can cause serious health problems such as migraines, persistent cough, chest pain, and nausea. When the Guanlao family learned from Community Power Works energy auditor Trevor Frick with Conservation Services Group of a mold problem in their home, they were motivated to take action.
“Through the energy audit, we were surprised to see that our attic was full of mold,” the Guanlaos told Community Power Works. The family wasted no time taking care of the problem by working through a Community Power Works action plan. “We asked our roofer to put additional vents on the roof, treated the mold, (and) upgraded the attic by putting in new insulation,” they said.
According to the Community Power Works contractor on the job, Craig Christensen of Advanced Energy Management (AEM), bringing insulation and ventilation levels up to code are critical to keeping homes healthy and free of mold. “Homes need to have a certain amount of air flow per hour, and insulation needs to be installed properly,” he said. In addition to reworking the insulation in the house, AEM installed a clean, efficient heat pump. As a result of the work, the Guanlao family is expected to reduce energy use by 38%, and save over $500 on energy costs each year.
Even though they have not experienced the upgrade benefits that come with winter, the experience with Community Power Works has inspired the Guanlaos to encourage friends, relatives and neighbors to sign up for the program. They said, “Our contractors, Advanced Energy Management through the leadership of Craig Christensen, did an excellent job… Also to the Community Power works team, thanks to your patience in dealing with us, you are wonderful people!”