Helping Homeowners Stay Cool and Comfortable All Year Long

andersonsSummer is here. Many of us will spend the coming months doing our best to stay cool and protected from the hot sun. For Rick Anderson, staying cool is not just about comfort—it’s critical to keep his multiple sclerosis symptoms in check.

Symptoms flare up when spending time in the sun, taking a hot shower or even just preparing a meal on the stove. “The heat makes my husband ill,” said Delores Anderson. “He needs to stay cool.”

Delores’ Mt. Hood Parkdale 1973 home has been in her family for two generations and she wanted to continue living there. This meant recognizing when the home she loves could do more.

“We’ve got to stay on top of it so our home continues to be healthy and comfortable,” said Delores.

Older homes are more prone to problems like wasted energy, leaky walls and old windows. Addressing performance issues is especially important.

Delores knew the furnace and air conditioner were on their last legs. Both were installed back when her parents first built the home. “We were holding our breath, hoping they wouldn’t break,” she said.

Instead of simply replacing the AC, Delores’ son encouraged her to contact Enhabit to get a complete look at all the things their house could do better. Enhabit is the largest non-profit home renewal service in Oregon and makes it easy and affordable for homeowners to improve the comfort, efficiency and health of their home all at the same time, an approach called “Total Home Performance.”

“Total Home Performance is about saving energy, plus a whole lot more,” said Stephanie Swanson with Enhabit. “An Enhabit homeowner shares our vision to create healthier, safer places to live.”

Enhabit offers qualified contractors, instant rebates and no money down financing as part of its “one stop shop” services.

Delores got a free home check-up from McDowell & Son, a certified Enhabit contractor in Hood River that’s been in business for 18 years.

“Our customers are dealing with a number of issues, including hot, steamy rooms, moisture in the wrong places, and mold, mildew and dust,” said Terry McDowell, owner of McDowell & Son. “We detect common problems and prioritize Home Performance fixes that will lead to a healthier, more comfortable home.”

Looking at Delores’ home as a complete system, McDowell & Son checked all major components and structural features. Delores discovered that a new AC wasn’t all she needed—insulation and air sealing, new windows, an air filter plus a better fan system were key to improving the performance of her home.

Delores worked with McDowell & Son to transform her home, saving $1,250 through instant rebates from Enhabit. She says the benefits were immediate.

“Our home is keeping us cool,” said Delores, “and there’s a huge difference in the amount of dust. I can see how much is trapped by our air filter.”

They’ve also reclaimed a room off the master bedroom, which they’d written off for years due to the strong smell of mildew and must.

“It’s our sunroom now,” said Delores. “When you sit there it feels like you’re outside. It’s very nice.” The upgrades made it possible to use their whole home again.