Home Energy Audit Helps to Prevent Icicles and Ice Damming on Homes
Home energy audits can pinpoint exactly where heat is escaping into the attic, as well as answer questions as to why icicles are forming and why energy bills are increasing.
CLEVELAND – Dec. 06, 2010 –Snow and freezing temperatures can contribute to a sequence of problems for a home, including ice damming: when a big block of ice forms and causes water to back up from an overhang or gutter. Ice dams typically form after the first layer of snow covers the roof. They’re caused by air leaks in a home’s “building envelope.” As heat escapes into the attic, the warm underside of the roof melts the snow, which flows down the overhang and into the gutters where it freezes.
Water leaks inside a home can be a worrisome problem for any homeowner, but ice damming or icicles can cause problems that are very costly, dangerous and damaging. The heavy ice can weigh gutters down and cause them to pull off from the home; water can seep through the shingles and chimney framing, causing water intrusion on the home’s rafters or down interior walls; and roofs can be destroyed by the weight of the ice — all potentially leading to higher energy bills, mold, and health problems.
For homeowners looking to save money, as well as minimize and prevent ice damming, a solution is to have an energy audit performed on the home. Through the use of a blower door and infrared camera technology, a trained energy auditor can look behind the walls and ceilings to pinpoint exactly where warm air is “leaking” into the attic. The energy auditor can explain how to prevent ice damming and will provide a list of prioritized, recommended improvements to solve any comfort and excessive energy usage issues.
“To reduce ice damming problems, the home needs to have a combination of good thermal insulation and a solid air barrier,” said Pro Energy Consultants Chief Technical Officer Mark Cannella, who has personally performed more than 10,000 energy audits since 1995. “A home energy audit is the ideal tool to diagnose why a house is experiencing ice damming and what steps to take to correct the problem.”
The main cause of ice damming is from the insulation and leakage in the home. A homeowner can have good insulation, but if heated air enters the attic from such culprits as recessed can lights or unvented exhaust fans, then the home is at risk. According to Cannella, the attic should be about the same temperature as the outside air.
Do-it-yourself fixes, such as fixing shingles on the roof, adding more insulation or removing gutters, are typically not solutions that will prevent ice damming. However, it’s important gutters are free of debris. Additionally, if a homeowner is faced with ice damming or icicle problems, precautions should be taken because removing icicles from an overhang or gutter can be dangerous to the homeowner.
For more information, call 888-9PROENERGY (1-888-977-6363), or visit http://www.proenergyconsultants.com.
# # #
About Pro Energy Consultants
Pro Energy Consultants’ proven system for conducting energy audits is backed by more than 15 years’ experience and more than 11,000 energy audits. The company’s mission is to provide customized, comprehensive and diagnostic energy audits designed to maximize the comfort and energy efficiency of homes and “light” commercial buildings while reducing energy costs. This mission not only sets the worldwide standard for energy audits but also established Pro Energy as the world’s leading expert on the subject. In October 2008 Pro Energy began awarding franchises — making it the first national franchise in energy auditing. Being the ideal “green franchise” opportunity, it has quickly grown to more than 60 franchises nationwide. The company started in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, call 888.9PROENERGY (1-888-977-6363) or visit www.proenergyconsultants.com.