Posted by: lcowie | November 16, 2010

Practical BPI Lessons

I can’t go anywhere in my home without thinking about the lessons I learned in my BPI Building Analyst training course. Whether it is air conditioning problems or exhaust fan issues, I constantly think from the “house-as-a-system” perspective and try to solve the problem from there.

Today I was in the shower and noticed that someone had opened the window adjacent to the bathtub. I couldn’t stop looking at the window. There was a big spider web inside the window. In my BPI training course, we learned that the presence of a spider web essentially indicates an air leak. It’s not exact science, but it makes sense. The spider makes his web where there is an air leak so that he can catch any insects breezing through.

In any event, I couldn’t understand why someone had opened that window. The moisture from the shower is supposed to exit the house through the exhaust fan. That’s what the exhaust fan is there for! People don’t seem to like exhaust fans. My mom used to turn off the exhaust fan as soon as she could get to the room that was using it. She absolutely hates when I turn it on. Instead, she’d rather open doors and let the moisture move throughout the house.

Any time I see a spider web in my home, I think about BPI. It’s impossible not to. The lessons speak directly to homeowners. There are so many things homeowners can be doing to save energy, but they’re just not aware of it. This is why we need energy auditing, in my opinion. The government funding helps as an incentive, but homeowners should invest in an energy audit simply because it will save them money and help their home run more efficiently.

Leave a comment if you’ve caught yourself recalling a BPI principle offhand while you were at home. I’m sure it happens all the time. You don’t have to be performing a formal home energy audit to spot a problem within your home.

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