The Clients & their Home:
Elaine & Bill have been loyal Princeton Air clients for many years. As the original owners of the 30 year old Princeton home, they were intimately familiar with the Pros and Cons of their home’s “California Contemporary” design, which is a ranch-style home with a sloped shed roof surrounded by windows to maximize daylight penetration. The home is absolutely gorgeous.
The Problem with their Home:
As beautiful as the home may be, each unique design feature directly contributed to the general lack of comfort in the common areas during the seasonal temperature extremes of our region. During the winter these rooms were extremely cold due to the combination of a poorly insulated, “well-vented” crawlspace, as well as 16’ ceiling heights where the majority of the heated air would accumulate. During the summer, the rooms were “warmer than desired” as a result of the wraparound windows near the ceiling,which let “every last drop” of sunlight into the space. While they had become “accustomed to” these extremes, they could not get accustomed to the “rain showers” they would sometimes have in those rooms every winter, caused by the heated inside air rising & making contact with the cold windows, creating condensation. The condensation would accumulate and run down the windows and the central beam. After several years of dripping, the water damage to the home was starting to show itself through a combination of stains on the ceilings and warped areas of the wood floors below. After consideration, they came to the realization that simply redoing the floors & ceiling would not stop the problem, and they would eventually have the same issues they were now dealing with. Concurrently, Princeton Air was experiencing success with its’ recently-launched Home Performance division. This led to a conversation between the Hogans and Princeton Air regarding how to best resolve the issue and prevent future problems.
The Measures Performed on their Home:
Outside, the exterior crawlspace walls were insulated behind rigid Poly board, thereby bringing the crawlspace “inside the home”. Above, the 1-story rooms with traditional attics had their insulation upgraded by adding a 10” layer of blown cellulose insulation, bringing the average R-value up to & above R-50; more than sufficient for even the most extreme NewJersey weather.
As for the sloped shed roof above the common areas,a different approach was theshed roof was a 6” enclosed cavity, with 6” of fiberglass already occupying the cavity, we knew there was only so much we could do without first removing some or all of the sheet rock to gain full access. We wanted air-seal first, to make sure that the roof over the cavity, and/or the cavity itself, was not further contributing moisture load to the home. To maximize the R-value for that limited cavity all fiberglass was removed and a 6” thick application of Closed-Cell Spray Polyurethane Foam (CC SPF) was applied to the underside of the roof deck. The resulting R-value averaged R-38, double that of the R-19 fiberglass removed.
The Results in their Home:
“We could feel the difference in the comfort of our home almost immediately”, said an overjoyed Elaine post-completion. “While we never envisioned the project being as challenging as it turned out to be, Princeton Air advised us of this possibility from the get-go, so we weren’t too surprised at or by each step; and they coordinated & managed every step for us along the way, which made all of the commotion going on in our home so much easier to live with.” “We were only “borderline miserable” comfort-wise in our home before the project, but we had learned to accept it, and never thought it could get much better; our home is so much more pleasurable to be inside regardless of what the weather outside might be – it might be raining outside, but not inside!” As for the final tally, “The project ended up taking a little more time than we had imagined, but mostly due to some unexpected revelations we found awaiting us as the project unfolded. Yet despite the additional time, materials & labor required to properly complete the project, the final investment turned out to be exactly as agreed to – I guess that “Flat-Rate” pricing structure they use really works!” “As Princeton Air clients for many years, we were confident that Princeton Air knew how to attack our home’s problems and come up with a solution that would work; they assured us that once the work was completed that our home would feel more comfortable; but never in our wildest dreams did we think it would be this comfortable – I almost never want to leave the house and!” Elaine also called us a year later to let us know her allergies have greatly improved and she no longer needs to take her allergy medicine to be in her own home, which I am sure all the allergy suffers out there can appreciate! She also mentioned they used 16% less total energy usage for the year after the work was completed.