Making Older Homes More Energy Efficient in Trinity Park

December 21, 2009 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Photo: Super Trainers and Trinity Park neighbors gather outside Leigh and Clay Bordley's home.

Neighbors in Trinity Park gathered on a beautiful autumn Saturday for a Clean Energy Durham home weatherization workshop at Leigh and Clay Bordley’s home.  Neighbors learned about simple and affordable ways to reduce their home energy use. Clean Energy Durham helps coordinate these workshops so neighbors can help neighbors save energy, and so that participants can pay it forward by sharing their new knowledge in their community.

Built in the early 1900s, the Bordleys’ house has a ton of charm – and a lot of air leaks. They had already done a lot to improve energy efficiency, and on that Saturday, their neighbors helped them take a few more steps.

After rolling up their sleeves to insulate outlets on the first floor, the group went through the house to identify places where outside air was slipping in. They found one vent in the living room whose warped duct was funneling air from the unconditioned basement straight into the living room. With a bit of caulk and some elbow grease, the vent could easily be fixed to banish the offending air from the living room.

The group also found many gaps in the home’s front staircase, where cold air is being channeled straight into the living room. People often are not aware of how much air leakage can occur through these types of gaps, and when they are aware, it’s often not clear how to fix them.  A solid barrier, like caulk, is required to keep the outside air where it belongs.

Neighbors were also treated to a backside view of the refrigerator: the Bordleys have a new refrigerator that’s advertised as ‘no clean’ – but even those refrigerators gather dust and lint on their coils, creating a common energy drain.

Lint gathers in dryers, too – and not just in the lint trap. When neighbors removed the lint trap and cleaned the dryer vent (from both inside and outside the house), they were able to remove a lot of lint that makes the dryer far less efficient and can be a fire hazard.

Thanks to the Bordleys for hosting the workshop. Contact Clean Energy Durham if you’d like to host a similar workshop for your neighbors!

Entry filed under: Learn Do Teach workshops, Trinity Park.

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