It’s so exciting to have finally weatherized my house! When I renovated my 100-year-old shotgun-style house in 2008, I did the bare minimum in order to get into the house. I loved the house, and it had exactly the New Orleans character I was looking for.
It was only after I moved in that I realized the impact of having no insulation at all. The AC was cranking along like crazy in the summer but couldn’t keep the house cool — especially since I could see the ground beneath gaps in the floorboards and air was seeping in (and out) through all the windows and doors. I wasted untold dollars in heating and cooling costs just trying to control the temperature and comfort of my home.
As program manager for Global Green’s NOLA Wise program in New Orleans, I help local homeowners make their homes more comfortable, affordable and energy-efficient, utilizing vetted, trained local contractors, incentives, financing, and quality control. I realized it was time to finally make the changes I needed in my own home and learned first-hand about how valuable the service is.
Ryan Fitzmorris from RetroFITZ was my NOLA Wise-approved contractor and started by installing radiant barrier in my attic to lower the temperature in that space so the AC doesn’t have to work so hard. He found out that the ducts had become loose and weren’t even securely attached to the AC unit. Cold air was blasting into the attic, instead of my house. Ouch! Ryan ended up replacing the AC ducts, as they were leaking worse than any he had ever seen. Double ouch! No wonder the bedroom was so intolerable on summer afternoons.
Next, RetroFITZ sealed all the leaky windows and doors, gave the AC a good tune-up, and installed insulation into my attic. He insulated underneath the floorboards, changed out the incandescent bulbs to CFLs, and installed solar screens on the windows that will prevent direct sunlight from heating up the rooms.
Can’t wait to enjoy a Sunday afternoon nap in the hot summer months without breaking into a sweat. Not to mention the ability to walk barefoot in the house in the winter. The lower utility bills will also be great!
It’s great to now be a spokesperson for the NOLA Wise program as both a client and a program manager. I’m happy to report that at least three other NOLA Wise team members have also signed up for the program.