The first thing that catches your eye in Mickey Lee’s home are the beautiful, Middle Eastern archways in the living room and hallway – some of the charming details that originally drew Mickey to this 1912 home. These details allowed her overlook the inadequate gas furnace and ugly carpet in her purchase decision, though not for long.
“It was cold and drafty,” she admits, “I had a gas heater in the hallway and it was supposed to heat the entire house. There was no way that that was going to happen so I had space heaters all over the place.” Less than two years ago, Mickey approached Enhabit to make some necessary improvements. Now her home has dramatically changed for the better.
Mickey chose Enhabit contractor, Faison Energy Solutions as she wanted to work with a minority owned business. They installed a new 96% high efficiency gas furnace and included air duct sealing, plus attic, floor and wall insulation. “I noticed immediately how much warmer the house became. I don’t have to use the space heaters anymore,” Mickey says happily.
Not only did her energy bills drop some 15%-25% she got an unexpected bonus: removal of the ugly carpet. “That carpet was the one thing keeping the floor warm, so I couldn’t remove it,’ she says. With new insulation in the floor, she ripped out all the carpet and put new flooring down. “Now I can still keep the house warm but I don’t need to look at that ugly carpet.”
According to Mickey, another Enhabit benefit is the financing. A Craft3 low-interest loan covered the work, and she could pay back the loan directly on her utility bill. “The cost was a little scary when I got the first bid, but knowing that I could put it on my utility bill was really helpful. It didn’t feel like such a big chunk. I just paid that loan off the month before last.”
Mickey’s interest in energy efficiency increased three years ago when she began working for MPower Oregon, a program that provides funding for energy efficiency work in the multifamily and affordable housing market. Many people don’t know about the benefits of energy efficiency upgrades, which is why they tolerate drafty homes and high energy bills. “A friend just bought her house about a year and a half ago and she didn’t know any of this either and her house is so cold. I think the average person doesn’t know until they’ve had it done,” Mickey says.
The other issue is knowing where and how to get started. Mickey appreciates how much easier Enhabit makes the process. “I think it gets overwhelming for people,” she says, “They may feel, ‘Okay I can do this but then I gotta call a contractor…how do I know if I’m getting the right deal and how do I know if what they told me is exactly what I’m supposed to know?’ Looking to Enhabit as a backup resource to review project quality and answer questions is really helpful. You know that the contractor has to meet certain standards.”
Most importantly, she knows what to look for in her next home. “I wish I had known to ask about the insulation levels, that would’ve been really helpful,” Mickey laments.
In the future, she may use Enhabit again for one of their other popular services – seismic retrofitting. “I want to buy another house and I want to buy a bigger one, like a two story…I think for that I’d be interested in seismic.”
- 96% high efficiency gas furnace
- Attic insulation
- Air sealing
- Duct sealing
- Wall insulation
- Crawlspace insulation
- Warmer spaces
- Warmer floors – out with the ugly carpet!
- No more space heaters