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How to proceed when there are no home performance specialists in my area

guidoism | Posted in General Questions on

I would love to hire a home performance specialist to help me determine what should be done for my newly purchased house in Muncie, Indiana. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be any people in my area that do these (or at least none I could fine from Google or the Resnet website).

Any ideas how to proceed? I would love to get blower tests and infrared tests and someone that could give me advice along the way.

I don’t mind doing stuff myself (I’ve been reading the books recommended here and I read this forum) but I don’t really want to spend thousands of dollars on equipment like a blower door or thermal camera when it would mostly go to waste unused. Too bad a group of people in an area couldn’t just pool their money for these things, right?

Thoughts?

Replies

  1. tommay | | #1

    In the old days, one would put a fan exhausting in a window and walk around with a cigarette to find drafts....

    1. guidoism | | #2

      Or maybe incense would be the modern take. :-) It's definitely worth trying.

      1. tommay | | #3

        Like that one guido...keep it simple....or maybe some sage to ward off any evil spirits...

  2. Nola_Sweats | | #4

    You can live there for a while and figure things out. That's what I did on both houses I've owned. A winter and a summer in place might tell you which rooms have issues. The recent efficiency upgrades I've done are mostly things I'd have never considered when I bought my current house, and they're mostly different from what I did in my last house. (In each case, I had spent all my cash on the new house, so couldn't afford to hire an expert at the time.) But if you're already renovating now, it would be better to do it right, now.

  3. mikeolder | | #5

    Start calling and talking. You'll eventually find someone qualified and willing to travel a little.

  4. Expert Member
    KOHTA UENO | | #6

    I don’t mind doing stuff myself (I’ve been reading the books recommended here and I read this forum) but I don’t really want to spend thousands of dollars on equipment like a blower door or thermal camera when it would mostly go to waste unused.

    For what it's worth, infrared cameras are a lot cheaper nowadays, and plenty good.

    How to Look at a House like a Building Scientist (Part 2: Heat)
    A nuanced look at thermal imaging and how it can shed light on much more than heat loss
    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/how-to-look-at-a-house-like-a-building-scientist-part-2-heat

    Also, I thought I remembered seeing somebody talking about improvising blower door rigs, using a rental-yard fan. Probably won't get pressure-flow relationships, but you can do a good depressurization.

  5. RussMill | | #7

    Take a step back and educate yourself. I build a few houses a year and I am very limited as far as outside help is concerned. GBA, Finehomebuilding and JLC are great resources.

    One thing I've realized is that as soon as we finish a project there are ten more great ideas or methods that show up. Just the learning curve.
    Good Luck!

  6. hvaceric | | #8

    What all are you having issues with?
    I'm located in Indy and could travel to Muncie with a blower door and thermal camera.

  7. Andrew_C | | #9

    Local utilities often offer energy audits at significantly reduced cost. You might see what's offered and what their energy audit entails. It may also give you a list of contractors in your area that may have the required expertise and knowledge.
    NB: energy auditors and the contractors who fix problems with a) air-sealing and b) insulation are often not the same company. Some pros and cons to keeping them separate.

  8. CMObuilds | | #10

    Try BPI’s website or check local home inspector websites. A lot of home inspectors have the equipment but earn the bulk of their living on home inspections and have given up on energy auditing as a viable business.
    As someone mentioned, your utility provider may offer some guidance and incentive as well.

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