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ESC Annual Report 2018

HOUSING & ENERGY

HOUSING & ENERGY SOLUTIONS Weatherization COMMUNITIES WHERE NEIGHBORS WITH LOW INCOMES LIVE ARE HEALTHY AND OFFER BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE THROUGH WEATHERIZATION Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area (ESC) utilizes the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) to achieve one of the main Community Action Goals through improving older housing stock. Together, we utilize funds from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to achieve these results. Funds are used to improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes using the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry. The energy conservation resulting from the efforts of Weatherization helps our country reduce its dependence on foreign oil and decrease the cost of energy for families in need while improving the health and safety of their homes. During this last calendar year ESC saved our 100 client’s homes approximately $11,530 in heating and cooling costs. 2017 HEATING & COOLING SAVINGS approximately $11,530 for a total of 100 ESC clients Weatherization work begins with an energy audit, during which we visit your house to see what measures can be taken to help reduce the home’s energy bill. This initial visit takes several hours onsite and a few more hours in the office to complete the Weatherization work write-up. During the energy audit, ESC’s Energy Auditor performs a safety and efficiency test on your heating system and water heater, measures your house for heat loss calculations, inspects your attic for bypasses, checks insulation levels in your attic and walls, and conducts a blower door test that measures the air leakage of your house. After your audit is completed, our Energy Auditor will determine which energy measures are most effective. Next, if needed, we send out a licensed, insured, and bonded mechanical contractor to address health and safety issues or mechanical problems that the Energy Auditor has identified. This contractor would also be the one to replace energy inefficient appliances if they cost effective measures. During the last calendar year, we replaced 43 heating units. Twenty-six of them were replaced as an Energy Efficiency measure, meaning the existing units were inefficient. Of the 43 heating unit replacements, 17 were due to Health and Safety measures, 10 of those had cracked heat exchangers. A gas furnace’s heat exchanger contains the gas combustion chamber. As air is circulated through the HVAC system, it passes over the heat exchanger and absorbs thermal energy before it’s circulated throughout the house. When the heat exchanger is cracked, not only does the air absorb the thermal energy, but it also takes the carbon monoxide with it as it’s circulated throughout the house. This is dangerous to the occupants’ health and can potentially lead to death. After all combustion issues are properly addressed, we send out our air sealing and insulation crews to do the weatherization work. The weatherization work consists of caulking, weather-stripping, adding ceiling, wall, and floor insulation, patching holes in the building envelope, and duct work. The final step is our Quality Control Inspector (QCI) makes a visit to your house to make sure everything was done properly. The inspector goes over the completed work and retests any combustion appliances to make sure they are venting properly after we changed the dynamics of the building envelope. Weatherization is supported in our local community in the amount of $55,700 annually. We are able to leverage local, state and national resources to improve our older housing stock in Southwest Missouri. Valued local partners are: Empire District Electric Company (Liberty Central), Lowe’s and Spire. Working smarter together to end poverty where we live. 14

HOUSING & ENERGY SOLUTIONS Success Story A HELPING HAND FOR BETTY Betty’s house needed some help, and the 92 year-old just wasn’t able to keep up with everything that needed done. Her two-story home was built in 1920, and has all of the character typical of that era. Her home is five years older than her. They both have a lot of character. Our inspector found that Betty’s furnace was in desperate need of replacement. We replaced her 70% efficient furnace with a 96% efficient unit, which will save her a great deal of money on her home heating costs. During the course of our work, we discovered that her water heater was not drafting properly, which caused carbon monoxide to build up in her basement. The return air, which brings air into the home, is located in the basement, so the carbon monoxide could easily make its way into the living areas of the home. This could have been potentially very dangerous for Betty. We replaced her natural draft water heater with a direct vent model. We installed 835 square feet of floor insulation, which will keep her house much warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer by reducing the amount of air that seeps up through the flooring. We insulated 68 feet of ducting to keep her heated and air conditioned air from leaking into her basement. We take the health and safety of our clients very seriously. We installed two carbon monoxide detectors, two smoke alarms, and a fire extinguisher as health and safety measures. We strive to help our clients reduce their energy bills while making their homes healthier and safer. Betty wrote in a lovely card to us, “A mere thank you is so very inadequate for all the wonderful and much needed things you did for my house. All the men were so nice and pleasant and very, very patient with me! I will think of all of you on those cold winter days.” We reduced her air infiltration by 46% by employing such measures as proper use of caulking, glazing, outlet and switch gaskets, and weatherstripping. We installed four sash locks, which serve a dual function. Sash locks reduce air infiltration by keeping windows tightly closed, and also serve as a safety measure by making the home more secure. 15

2018 Annual Report
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