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Making a Country Home Greener, Cleaner, and More Comfortable

Carolyn and Mike built their lovely, country home in 1994 with conventional building practices of the time. Recently they became more interested in pursuing energy efficiency, and in 2010 they hired Clean Energy Coalition to perform a home energy assessment.

Assessment Findings

  • 65% of home’s air leaked out every hour
  • Ceiling and attic under insulated at R-19
  • Some areas missing insulation altogether
  • Aging and inefficient water heater
  • Some incandescent lighting still in use

Improvements Made

  • Added 12 inches of cellulose insulation in attic
  • Improved weatherstripping around doors
  • Caulked around all the windows
  • Installed Venetian blinds
  • Upgraded all incandescent lighting to LED
  • Installed a reflective all metal roof
  • 4.6 kW solar PV system


  • 57% reduction in air leakage
  • Warmer in winter, furnace runs less often
  • Cooler in summer – solar panel shading and reflective roof help considerably
  • PV system offsets 70% of electricity
  • Overall 52% energy expenditure reduction


“It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Now that we’re approaching retirement, it makes a lot of sense to invest in our home and reduce our bills at the same time.”

— Carolyn Holland & Mike Carbary, Chelsea, Michigan