Passing Energy Inspections
The Hatfield crews did a great job of sealing the house and there were no problems with passing the initial energy inspection. However, not every remodeler is so well prepared.
David Bostrom with Bostrom Energy Check sees the same oversights again and again. While these aren’t life or death errors, they often mean additional work, more inspections, project delays and added cost.
Here are a few of the most common mistakes.
- Sealant should be applied all around the floor joists, window frames and 45 degree corners. “I see the bottom plate and corners get missed all the time,” Bostrom says.
- Another spot that’s often overlooked where wiring comes through the framing.
- When sheetrock goes up, it’s important to run a bead of caulk between the AC ceiling box and the sheetrock. “The AC guys would do it, but the sheetrock’s not up yet and they’re long gone by that time,” Bostrom explains. “And the sheetrock guys aren’t thinking about the air conditioner.”
- The can lights in this home are equipped with a gasket for the trim ring, but many cans are not. If that’s the case, be sure to caulk the housing to the finished ceiling to prevent air loss through the light box.
- Check to make sure the ducts are all meeting the required R value for your area.
It can be confusing, Bostrom says. For example, in Dallas, remodelers are not asked for an energy code plan review when they obtain their permit. Often, they don’t realize when an energy inspection is required. “Usually, the frame inspector will let them know, but sometimes that doesn’t happen or maybe the PM isn’t there during the inspection.”
Bostrom has seen cases where drywall is completed with no energy inspection. “The city should ask for a plan review at the beginning of the job for all remodels where an inspection is needed,” he says. “They do it for new construction and additions, but not for a remodel.”