Meghan Biggs, a high school teacher from Klamath Falls, had hoped to save a few dollars on her electricity bill when she signed up for Clean Energy Works Oregon late last year. But by the time her project was completed in February, she had learned a lot more than the economics of home efficiency.
Meghan moved into a 1970s three bedroom, one-bath house in the south suburb area of Klamath Falls in 2009. The home was heated by an electric furnace that Meghan assumed was pretty old.
“It sounded like a jet plane was taking off in my living room,” she said. “And it was always on.”
The noise, plus high winter electricity bills, prompted Meghan to call a contractor to come look at the furnace. The contractor, Seasons Change LLC, told her about Clean Energy Works Oregon and they scheduled a free energy efficiency inspection. That’s when Meghan’s history lessons began. Some of the duct work for the old electric furnace wasn’t even hooked up to the house.
“It was just laying on the ground under the house,” she said. “I wasn’t even heating the house. I have no clue as to how much I was spending heating underneath the house.”
The contractor found a couple other leaks in the house. And the 1970s insulation wasn’t up to the same insulation standards as now, especially under the floor, where there wasn’t any insulation at all. She also learned that her hot water heater, while not as old as her furnace, was installed improperly.
“It obviously wasn’t up to code,” she said. The new one is bolted down and has its own electrical box. “It’s just peace of mind knowing that it’s not going to blow up the garage,” Meghan said.
Today Meghan is enjoying a new furnace, a new water heater, a draft-free house and significant savings on her winter electric bill. And when the weather warms up this summer, she said she can’t wait to use her new heat pump to cool off. The whole process, from application through financing and working with her contractor was easy, she said.
“It was as painless as it possibly could be,” she said.
Is it time to go to school on your home’s efficiency? Visit us at www.cewo.org and apply today!