Energy and money lost in the attic, resident pays but didn't know it!

By
Home Builder with Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 CSL#642819
https://activerain.com/droplet/4cKp

 

 

I opened the attic access and there was a warm air coming down.

 

With the cost of energy increasing during the winter months, it’s important to have a ventilation system that is functioning at its best. Any ducts that are blocked or separated can be a real cost to the owners or tenants. That’s what I came across today.

When I climbed the ladder and opened the access cover there was a warm flow of air coming right at me. This was strange considering it was winter and the unit had the heater on; I would have thought that it would have been warmer inside the unit rather than up in the attic space.

Once I got up in the attic and turned on my flashlight, the mystery was solved. The duct to the bathroom was separated and blowing the hot air right toward the access opening. This duct repair seems like it would be an easy fix. Since I was up there for a different matter, I did not have the necessary supplies to repair it right then.

This particular heating duct problem was in an apartment in El Dorado County and the unit was not occupied. I don’t know how long it was disconnected but judging by the dust that I saw, it has been that way for some time. There could have been years of wasted energy and money spent without knowledge of the problem existing.

So how would someone know that they had a problem with their duct work?

We certainly don’t recommend the average homeowner to be climbing around in the attic, nor do we want a tenant putting themselves at risk of injury. There are some common sense signs that there is a problem.

Are some rooms colder than others? A pinched or partially collapsed duct can reduce the flow of air to a room or two. In this case there was no air getting to the bathroom. No air flow through a duct is a very good sign that there is a problem with the system.

It would be wise to contract the management of the apartment community if you are renting, or contact a professional contractor with experience in the troubleshooting of the heater and air system. A professional will have both the knowledge and tools to quickly and accurately determine the problem and give you an estimate of repair costs. The savings of the repair may pay for itself over a short period of time.

 


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John McCormack, CRS 03/16/2014 01:11 PM
Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
California El Dorado County Cameron Park
Groups:
The Lounge at Active Rain
Landlord Issues
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Tags:
repairs
el dorado county
ducts
heating and air systems

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Rainmaker
1,849,672
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

All good signs to look for Tom.  Often I have climbed into a hot, summertime attic to feel cool air blowing on my face.  Welcoming the relief, I stay a while and enjoy it!

Mar 04, 2014 07:51 PM #6
Rainmaker
3,630,241
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Tom. This is really insightful and a terrific primer on saving real money in real ways. Suggested.

Mar 04, 2014 07:51 PM #7
Rainmaker
3,825,796
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Tom,

An excellent post and so relevant for all of us. Having an annual inspection sure helps catch incidents like this one you described! Congrats on the best actor award..really enjoy the creativity on your part!

Mar 04, 2014 08:06 PM #8
Rainmaker
2,346,102
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

I'm sure this type of thing happens more than we are aware of Tom.

Mar 04, 2014 08:17 PM #9
Ambassador
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John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Tom, I'm going to have one of my local Home Inspectors look at our attic.  Our neighbor kept seeing white stuff on their clothes in the master closet.  They had an inspector come out and sure enough it was insulation bein blown out.  The connection had never been made.

Mar 04, 2014 10:04 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Grant - Sounds like what I saw up there; that dry duct tape just wasn't working anymore.

Mar 04, 2014 10:48 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I'm sure that someone paid for quite some time on this one Clint.

Mar 04, 2014 10:48 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I know exactly what you are talking about Jay, those summer crawls can be brutal.

Mar 04, 2014 10:48 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

If you have a problem with air flow, its good to find out why Sheila.

Mar 04, 2014 10:49 PM #14
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Thanks Dorie!
I like the idea of an annual inspection.

Mar 04, 2014 10:49 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Roger - It may not always be separated like the photo, but I see ducts just hanging on all the time.

Mar 04, 2014 10:49 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Glad that I could help a little today John; it sounds like this may be your problem as well.

Mar 04, 2014 10:49 PM #17
Rainmaker
490,673
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Tom, This happens more often than most think. I am not a big fan of flex duct but it is what it is.

Mar 04, 2014 10:55 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Knowing that this is a problem, maybe we can learn to check for possible leaks Donald.

Mar 04, 2014 11:33 PM #19
Rainmaker
5,417,539
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Another good reason for a professional home inspection.  

Severe winter weather has caused high utility bills for many of us and it is smart to check the ductwork and to change the filters.

Mar 04, 2014 11:54 PM #20
Ambassador
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

That is a really good indicator when one room is hotter or colder than the rest of the house. Something definitely is not working right.

Mar 05, 2014 12:59 AM #21
Rainer
198,783
Randy Shamburger
Movement Mortgage - Greenville, SC
FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Expert

This is why inspection from a pro is needed, thanks for sharing.

Have a Big day,

Randy

Mar 05, 2014 02:12 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Those are great ideas for keeping costs down Roy.

Mar 05, 2014 01:01 PM #23
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

That is something that needs to be remembered Debbie.

Mar 05, 2014 01:01 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

The more we know, the more we know Randy.  :)

Mar 05, 2014 01:01 PM #25
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Rainmaker
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