Business identifies home energy probems, solutions
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado
Dave Clingman started IMAGIN3 ENERGY SOLUTIONS a year and a half ago with an environmental design degree from the University of Colorado.
“What I do is I go into a home and look at the systems of the house,” Clingman said, “anywhere from the insulation details to the mechanicals, like the boiler system and the hot water heater.”
After Clingman investigates the home, he does a blower door test. The test uses a giant fan that depressurizes the house by pulling the air out of the home. Doing that amplifies the air infiltration into the home, particularly in places such as windows, outlets, or other places where there is no insulation.
He also uses another important tool, the infrared camera.
“I can go around and see where the air is coming into the home,” Clingman said. “It judges temperature.”
Where there is cold air, the camera will show blue; with warm air, it shows red.
Clingman said that is commonly where people experience comfort issues.
“It all has to do with people’s comfort issues and their energy costs,” Clingman said, “helping them understand how they can decrease the cost of their energy.”
There are two tiers in Clingman’s company. There are audits for existing homes and then there is a grade that has to do with the home energy rating system, a government-based system put in place in 2006.
Clingman said the system uses a scale from zero to 200, with 100 being the benchmark. Most existing homes are over 100, unless the house uses new construction with foam insulation. Foam insulation is about an 80 or 60 so it uses 20 percent less energy than the energy code, which can save a person money.
Here’s how it works.
If a person achieves a rating of 80 or less they can apply to be an Energy Star qualified home. They can use 20 percent less energy and receive rebates.
“The concept for me is that I pay for myself, just to get me in the house costs $500 to $2,000 to do the ratings and really investigate the home,” Clingman said, “but then the customer gets these rebates back by achieving the Energy Star.”
Clingman said it is a great deal.
“The money saved over the lifetime of the house is going to far out way anything else,” Clingman said. “The benefits are great.”
Clingman said the idea is your house does not need to breathe – the people inside of it do.
“By looking at the house as a system, the house will be more comfortable, healthier, and it will last longer,” Clingman said.
Audits usually take two to four hours in the customer’s home. After the blower test and the infrared camera are used, Clingman does a report about 16 pages long going through how the homeowner can increase energy efficiency in natural gas and electricity, and also talking about tangible things the owner can do.
Clingman said it is one thing to do the audit, but it is another thing to provide the solutions.
“I am passionate about this,” Clingman said, “I love it.”
– Ariadyn can be reached at 970 887-3334 ext 19605 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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