Friday, May 25, 2012


Today I had the first opportunity to go into the crawl space and take a close look around. The space is relatively clean and with a little bit of effort can be made into a very tight envelope.

I have been disappointed  with the water pressure since we moved in. In the crawl space I found the incoming 3/4" galvanized supply line. The supply line transitions to copper at an elbow just inside the foundation wall. A 1/2" line tees off to the hose bibb on the front of the house before the main line continues to the PRV.

I put a gauge on the hose bibb on the rear of the house and it read 40 psi. This hose bibb is downstream of the PRV. Then I walked around to the front of the house and put the gauge on the front hose bibb that is before the PRV, it read 70 psi.

I was happy to see that we had much more pressure available so I adjusted the PRV to give us around 60 psi. It made a noticeable improvement with the water pressure in the house. The fixtures are much happier now.


On Tuesday Luke from Green Summit came over to do an energy audit on the house. An energy audit is a procedure designed to test a house and see what it's energy deficiencies are. Through a series of tests they can determine the house's efficiency level and tell you where you should concentrate your efforts on making your house more efficient.

I knew already that my house had some deficiencies. The house has a whole house attic fan which is basically a 4' x 4' hole in the ceiling. This enormous hole in the ceiling allows hot air to radiate into the conditioned space. Why these fans became popular in the south is not clear to me. They definitely work against air conditioning, they may have helped in the days before a/c, but I'm not certain.

Our house has no insulation in the attic. So basically a 120 degree mass of hot air sits right on top of the conditioned space which makes the a/c work harder. The a/c unit is in the crawl space. The crawl space is vented and not sealed at all which basically means it is outdoors. Moisture, hot and cold air and dirty air is sucked right into the indoors with this configuration.

Next week I will get the results back from the energy audit and post them here.

Split Level

My wife and I purchased this home about a week ago. Although it is very dated interior wise, the structure itself is very sound and the building has not been hacked up very much. The roof is new, the hvac unit is new.

The house is split level meaning there is a main floor an upstairs and a downstairs. The main floor splits the up and down stairs. I've noticed that most of the homes in this neighborhood are very similar to this one. The same builder must have built most of the homes in this subdivision.

Welcome to the Green Zone

This blog is dedicated to chronicling the trials and tribulations of converting a 1970 split level house in Tucker Georgia into an energy efficient green home/passive house.