Today, Kris Grube, the founder of Good Energy Retrofit here in Portland, has joined me to discuss how her energy efficiency contracting company can help your home.

Most people call Kris when they are uncomfortable in their home on really hot or really cold days or if they are concerned about their energy bills and carbon footprint. Good Energy Retrofit will look at all of the energy-related components of their plan and give them input on the most effective things they can do to impact their home.

They start by running a full assessment on the home. They come in with a blower door to check for air leakage in the house, and they also have an infrared camera that measures insulation levels. They also check your heating systems and windows to determine what the home needs. In other words, they will determine which items will best benefit the home in terms of comfort, energy savings, and its carbon footprint.

“Most homes only have six inches of insulation when they need 16!”

While every home is different, insulation is the No. 1 thing you can look at to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Most homes only have three to six inches of insulation when they need 13 to 16 inches of insulation. Your mom tells you to make sure you wear your hat—well, insulation is your home’s hat.

When it comes to mechanical systems, instead of upgrading your furnace to an 80% efficient furnace, get the 95% efficient furnace. It will make a big difference in your home overall.

Windows can also make a difference. Window companies make you think that replacing windows is the first thing you should do, but that’s not always the case. Most of the time, the first thing you should do is look at your insulation. Still, windows can make a big difference. You may also want to consider upgrading to a ductless heat pump if you have electric baseboards or use window AC units. The ductless heat pump can lower your house’s energy usage by two-thirds! They are Kris’ favorite product.

If you have any questions for Kris or if you are interested in an assessment of your home, you can contact her here. As always, if you have any real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. We would be happy to help you!