This guest post is sponsored by Advanced Home Energy. It was written by East Bay mom, Julie Tucker, about solving some of her sons' health problems by improving the air quality at home.
We originally contacted AHE for an energy audit on our last home. Shortly after we did the audit, we found we were pregnant with our third child and moved from Oakland to Orinda.
Our new home had an unfinished basement and after hiring a contractor to finish the basement, we began to have major problems with our HVAC. The HVAC subcontractor hired by our contractor completely messed up our HVAC system. We remembered the great service AHE gave us with our old home. We contacted AHE to come out and give us an energy audit.
AHE found that our HVAC ducts had major leaking issues. We were wasting a ton of money heating up our crawl space. Our kitchen floor felt like we had radiant heating (which we don't have). AHE also found out that our furnace was leaking a large amount of carbon monoxide into our house. The furnace was right under our three young boys bedrooms. The scary part is that our middle son (now 4) has severe asthma. When we heard that we had carbon monoxide leaking into our crawl space, under our boys bedroom, we were horrified. AHE rectified the problem for us. They also ended up redoing all our ducting, putting in a whole house HEPA filter, balancing our system (boys room was always too cold or too hot – season dependent), as well as replacing the insulation in our attic.
Our house now has consistent heating and cooling. Due to better insulation, temperatures inside the house don't fluctuate as much either. After having horrible issues with consistent and working heating and cooling, having a reliable HVAC system is delightful.
As for health benefits, while my three boys (5.5, 4, and 2.5) had their share of illnesses last winter, it was our first winter without having to take our 4 year old to Children's ER, having him admitted, as well as the first winter we haven't had to call 911 and have him transported to Children's. Who knows if there is a direct correlation of if age is causing his lungs to grow stronger. I'm sure it's a combination of both. Sure, we still had to manage Jackson's asthma this past winter, and sure we had some iffy moments, but at the end of the day, we reached a mile stone. One I'll happily remember – our first winter without a visit to the ER or a stay in the hospital. 🙂
I originally discovered Advanced Home Energy several years ago at Berkeley's Earth Day festival. They were offering deeply discounted attic insulation and dangling PG+E rebates in front of our eyes, so we eagerly accepted. My family has worked with them three times in two different houses to make insulation and HVAC improvements including RECO compliance.