Rebekah Smith

Home Energy Squad Visit

January 3, 2012
By Rebekah Smith

Last night, as I was putting on eighty layers of clothing to head out and watch the Wolves beat the pants off of the Spurs, a cold draft reminded me to call the Home Energy Squad. Two years ago, they offered to weatherize our front door, but I was hesitant to remove some original wood trim in order to do it. I have since seen the light, literally. For where there is light, there is an energy leak.

Jody and Tony did a beautiful job of weatherstripping the door. They also did me the favor of caulking the gap between the doorframe and the interior wall, a task that's been on the list ever since the energy auditor suggested it years ago. Apparently good intentions are no cure for procrastination. It's perplexing and another reason why the Energy Squad is so valuable, in addition to - of course - measurable outcomes. Their work significantly reduced drafts and raised surface temperatures around the door.


Tony, Energy Squad, removes a little trim to make room for the weather strip.


Installing a door sweep.
Jody, Energy Squad, installs a better fitting door sweep after noticing light peeking over the threshold.

As for the woodwork that I lost in exchange for energy conservation, I do not miss it. Rightfully, we want to do justice by this old house. But worries over a flimsy piece of wood turned out to be silly. Neatly installing barely noticeable materials, the Energy Squad demonstrated how to have the best of both worlds. In fact, when friends had the same work done on their old door, they had to point it out to me because it blended in so well.

Weather strip on a door.
The weather strip is hardly noticeable while doing a great job of tightening up some drafty gaps.

To satisfy my curiosity, I used a Black & Decker Thermal Heat Detector to take some surface temperatures before and after the improvements. Here's what I found:

Area Before After Change
Wall 67.8⁰F   None
Insulated switch cover 66.2⁰F   None
Gap between door trim and interior wall 63.6⁰F 65.3⁰F/caulking +1.7⁰F
Drafty area by lock between door and jamb 54.6⁰F 58.6⁰F/weatherstripping +4⁰F
Bottom of door 51.4⁰F 54.3⁰F/door sweep +2.9⁰F

Weatherizing the door eliminated drafts and raised the surface temperature.

Weatherizing the door eliminated drafts and raised the surface temperatures.

In addition to improved surface temperatures, drafts went from being very noticeable to not noticeable to the touch. This will greatly improve the comfort of our home.

The coming of a new year brings forth a lot of promises about getting around to it. With the Energy Squad serving the Twin Cities area, getting around to some simple energy conservation updates is effortless, inexpensive and quite satisfying. To make an appointment and to learn more about their services, see The Neighborhood Energy Connection website.

This is an original blog post from Two People and a Cat: A quest for a smaller carbon footprint.