Home Energy Saver posted some eye-opening photos showing some common, hidden problems in homes on their “Wall of Shame“. From missing wall insulation to improperly installed heating register boots, these problems are more common than you may think, and can have a real impact on your comfort and energy bills. In the process of conducting home energy audits, and installing heating, air conditioning, and plumbing systems, we’ve seen all of these issues and more. A lot of our work involves fixing problems like these in existing homes.

Mike Holmes has become a TV star by working with home owners to make things right in their homes. My wife enjoys watching his shows, and it has been a huge help to me personally, because she now understands what we do a whole lot better! Every time she asks me, “can you believe that?”, I reply “unfortunately, yes. We see it every day.” In fact, Mike recently created a Public Service Announcement for the International Code Council, stressing the importance of building codes, and of having work permitted and inspected.

So how can you avoid situations like this? Mike Holmes has a few tips that we think are valuable. Beyond that, make sure to verify the following before hiring any contractor:

  1. Check contractor licensing with the appropriate state agency, and their employees have all required licences and certifications
  2. Verify they have required liability insurance, bonding, and that their employees are covered by workers compensation insurance
  3. Check them out with the BBB, Attorney General’s office and other third party resources
  4. Review the terms of their contract carefully before signing it, and don’t sign it if it doesn’t clearly explain their responsibilities, as well as yours
  5. A deposit on work is reasonable, but don’t pay in full until the work is completed
  6. Insist that all work be permitted and inspected as required, and make sure permits are posted on site and/or provided to you

Doing a little bit of research ahead of time can save you from a real problem later on.

If your home already has comfort, health, or energy cost problems, what should you do then? Hire a certified auditor (BPI, RESENT, etc), to test your home. Unlike a home inspector, these professionals look for problems beyond the basic structure and code that can create issues with comfort, health, and energy use in your home. They will test your home with advanced tools like infiltrometers/blower doors, infrared cameras, etc., in addition to visually inspecting attic and crawls spaces, duct systems, and more to uncover issues that may exist. Once you know what the problems are, they can help you to develop a plan to prioritize and fix them!

BelRed Energy Solutions offers a variety of services to help you improve the comfort, health, safety and efficiency of your home. For more information on what we can do to help you, contact us today, or schedule a Home Energy and Safety Assessment.


2 thoughts on “Hidden Problems in Homes Cause Real Pain – What Can You Do?

  1. Adam, these are great tips to protect homeowners from less than reputable heating and cooling dealers. Inspections for safety issues and making sure we level the playing field are imperative these days. Unfortunately NOT pulling permits and doing low quality work is sometimes some dealers make it “affordable”. Follow these tips and it makes it harder to make a poor decision.

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