Energy Efficiency Makeover

Petit Jean Electric Cooperative member Connie Jefferies of Damascus has won the seventh annual contest sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. According to Bret Curry, manager of residential energy marketing for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, this year’s makeover contest was designed for members who reside in manufactured homes.

“Manufactured homes comprise 15 percent of Arkansas’ housing stock, have some of the highest electric bills and are very uncomfortable during hot and cold weather extremes,” Curry said. “The makeover project serves as a teaching resource for all Arkansans.”

As the makeover winner, Jefferies’ 1999 single-wide home will receive up to $50,000 in energy efficiency improvements. During a recent energy audit, electric cooperative energy efficiency experts pinpointed reasons for the high electric consumption in the 840 sq. ft. dwelling. Jeffries had an uncomfortable home and $300 electric bills last winter, he said.

“Our diagnostic testing revealed that 50 percent of the air volume within the home was leaking to the outside,” Curry said. “We also discovered substandard and improperly installed insulation, inefficient windows, no moisture barrier, an inefficient heating and cooling system and non-Energy Star appliances.”

“A properly built dwelling of this small size should average total monthly electric bills of $100 or less,” Curry said. “The good news is our makeover project is a wonderful medium for teaching Arkansans how they can resolve their energy problems, improve the comfort of their homes and lower their utility costs.”

A common theme among many manufactured homes is very leaky ductwork and improperly insulated floors. The result is an uncomfortable home with utility bills higher than necessary. The solution for our makeover project is displayed in these photos. SealantTech Foam installed by Summit Builders will completely seal the air delivery system recently installed by Rood Heating & Cooling. Foam provides an excellent thermal, moisture and air barrier

Plus, this product adds structural strength to the ductwork. I stood on a sample section of sealed ductwork to demonstrate the physical characteristics. You'll see that in an upcoming video! You may wonder why that is important? It's not uncommon for improperly installed ductwork to become disconnected over time due to inferior tapes, poor assembly, pet and critter activity under homes, etc. The product will also be applied to the underside of the floor to serve as an insulation and an air and moisture barrier.