About Traci Schalow

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So far Traci Schalow has created 17 blog entries.

Asbestos Blessed Us, Sort Of…

By |2020-05-06T16:51:29-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

“We intended to just remodel the kitchen and open up the living space when we were doing our energy upgrades. But when the asbestos test came back, we had to gut the entire ceiling and most of the interior walls. Mitigation blew the budget, but once you’ve pulled the sheetrock, you notice faulty wiring and lighting layouts that don’t make sense. Now we have a healthy house and lights where we want them, all LED with the […]

Little Magic Box

By |2020-05-07T10:25:30-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

Marty preps the indoor and outdoor units of his electric heat pump, the “little magic box” that provides all the heating and cooling for his home at extremely low energy-cost.  “We were faced with replacing a natural gas wall furnace with another one just like it; there was no other distribution system in the house. [In our goal to be carbon-free], there was an opportunity cost to starting from scratch. Electricity is the future.” […]

Attic: Where Pragmatic Meets Ecstatic

By |2020-05-07T10:36:39-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

The attic is tucked into bed with insulation that keeps the whole house temperate. If you look closely, you’ll notice the cut in the original roof that Marty was standing in at the beginning of the project. “After spray foam at the heel of the truss, we blew in cellulose insulation. It’s critical that you air seal first. And don’t forget to seal the interior mechanical penetrations as well.” 

Bringing Solar Home

By |2020-05-13T12:45:14-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

“When I got to the heat pump, I had to justify the cost. If I didn’t go for net zero and add solar panels to offset it, the long-term cost wouldn’t have made sense. Now, I’m seeing the energy remodel as a revenue generator. Energy savings payback project costs. Solar runs the heat pump for nothing (after it’s paid off) and when the panels are generating, they’re actually ‘producing’ money. The solar home is […]

Indoor Air Equality

By |2020-05-20T11:35:56-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

Marty’s ERV — aka the Energy Recovery Ventilation — watches over the family.  “It’s the intelligent bath fan that brings in fresh air and exhausts the stale air. Our two bathroom units serve the whole house with air quality control. Once I get my final blower door test, we’ll know how much fresh air we need and will set them to run at a certain percentage around the clock. That way it delivers all the […]