Q: What are the benefits of GIA's services?
1. Cost Savings
Did you know the average Light Emitting Diode bulb (LED) could amount to $50 of savings during its lifetime in comparison to a traditional incandescent bulb? Or the installation of low-flow sink and shower aerators can cut your water consumption by 50 percent? Alliant Energy estimates a typical home could cost $50 to weatherize, but it's possible to save two-to-three times that amount in just one heating season. The work done by Green Iowa adds up and could potentially lead to a nice reduction in your utility bills.
With every bit of energy you use or waste, more natural resources are consumed and cause further harm to the environment. By getting a simple home energy audit, you can help reduce humankind's carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Improving your household's energy efficiency is a step in the right direction.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? If so, a home energy assessment can help address the causes of these discomforts:
- Rooms are too cold in winter and too warm in summer
- Humidity is either too high or too low
- You are constantly dusting, have mold problems or trouble breathing in the home
Q: What exactly is the blower door test?
Air leakage causes home heating and cooling systems to work harder than needed, resulting in more energy consumption and higher utility bills. The blower door test is specialized equipment used to quantify the air leakage caused by any gaps, cracks, or openings in a home's envelope. The test is conducted by putting a frame with a fan in an exterior doorway which blows air out of the house to decrease the air pressure inside the house. As the pressure inside your house decreases, air from the outside flows in through gaps and cracks in order to compensate. This means the fan will have to work even harder to depressurize your house to the desired level. Using the volume of your building and how hard the fan has to work to reach the desired depressurization, we can calculate how much air leaves your house every hour. Based on this estimate, we will decide whether air sealing measures are necessary.
Q: Does Green Iowa install insulation?/Does Green Iowa install windows and doors?
No. Our teams are able to survey problem areas and make suggestions. However, the act of insulating and/or hanging doors and windows is considered a job for professional contractors and outside the scope of our work. Any work that would be considered contractor's work is proscribed. This helps keep Green Iowa's services low- to no-cost.
Q: Can Green Iowa recommend local contractors to complete certain work?
No. Our organization operates on impartial grounds and as such we cannot recommend one contractor over another. However, we can put you in contact with your local utility provider who can offer recommendations.
Q: Do you offer home energy audits and weatherizations in the summer time?
Yes! It's just as important to keep your home energy efficient while running your cooling system as it is when your heat is on.
Q: Do I have to be home for the audit or weatherization?
No, but most homeowners prefer it. Green Iowa members need to be able to enter the home and any animals should be contained. Before the audit/weatherization process can begin, homeowners must sign a waiver. Otherwise, it is left to the discretion of the homeowner to determine if they want to be present or not.
Q: Why is it free?
Green Iowa AmeriCorps' program staff is able to support the labor provided by members at no cost to homeowners through a series of grants and fundraising efforts. All free materials that go into qualified homes are donated by local businesses, community members or individuals who would like to provide a more energy and cost efficient home for a person in need.