Archive for July, 2009

An Energy Audit Saved My Life

A couple of weeks ago I had an energy audit.  For those of you who have never gone through the process, one of the things they do during an audit is to use a big fan to suck all of the air out of your house to see where the air leaks are located.  Before they get started, they test the CO (Carbon Monoxide) levels in your furnace.  Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is a by product of the use of fossil fuels for cooking and heating.  While some CO is acceptable, high levels can be deadly. People die in their homes every year, without ever realizing that they are in danger.  The levels in my furnace were high, very high.  In fact they were ~200 times what would be considered acceptable!

The energy audit guys were great. They explained that the levels were dangerously high and that they had to call the gas company.  They waited until the gas company arrived and investigated the problem.  They gas company did an inspection and found that because the CO was located only in the furnace that it was not an emergency, but we still could not proceed with the complete energy audit until the CO levels could be lowered.

I had the gas company come out again to try to fix the furnace, but unfortunately they could not get the CO levels to a point that was acceptable.  Looks like I’ll be spending several thousand dollars on a new furnace, but at least I’m alive!  The other benefit is that whatever boiler I install is guaranteed to be more energy efficient than what I have, lowering my bills and energy usage.  I guess every cloud has a silver lining …

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