Energy Efficiency Success Stories

Making a Home Comfortable and Efficient
30% reduction in Gas energy usage intensity
Savings and warmth with a new boiler and radiators
Total cost partially offset by rebates

The Caceres family knew their home wasn’t operating the way it should. Their building was drafty and the aged boiler failed to provide enough heat in the winter, forcing them to use of two supplemental gas-fueled space heaters to keep the apartments warm. The vintage, unvented space heaters were inefficient, and also caused the carbon monoxide alarms to go off. Energy and money were being wasted, and both residences were uncomfortable despite high heating bills. The couple found help through the Chicagoland Home Energy Savers Programs.

Reducing air leakage was the first priority for this building, followed by adding insulation. Blown cellulose insulation (R 40) was added in the attic and rigid foam board (R 8) was installed in the crawl space. Exterior frame walls were insulated to R 5 with blown cellulose. The building’s mechanical systems were previously located in the un-insulated rear stairwell which exposed them to outside ambient temperatures and reduced their efficiency. This area was insulated and enclosed, thus completing the building’s thermal envelope.

The energy auditor originally recommended removing the space heaters on the first floor and utilizing the boiler that heated the second floor while also cleaning and tuning the two existing 40 gallon domestic hot water heaters. After conferring with a contractor, CNT Energy had a 150 KBTU, 90+ efficient boiler installed to meet heat and hot water needs for both units. This properly sized, high efficiency modulating hot water unit turned out to be a cost effective and higher-quality option. New baseboard hot water radiators, tied to the boiler, were installed in the first floor apartment.

The Caceras family is extremely satisfied with the results and insists that even the family dog noticed a difference!