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Targeting Air Leaks

Repairing historic wood windows leads to a big efficiency boost.

Stately rows of late 19th and early 20th century homes have made Ann Arbor’s Old West Side neighborhood one of the city’s most desirable. But charm has its price when it comes to the homes’ heating and cooling costs.

Just ask Matt and Kelly Grocoff, founders of Greenovation.TV and owners of a 110-year-old Victorian in the neighborhood. Clean Energy Structures’ blower door test confirmed that more than 100 percent of the structure’s air was replaced with outdoor air every hour. New windows would have solved the problem, but required historic district approval. The expense was considerable. Instead, staff at Clean Energy’s Structures recommended repairing sashes and hardware, installing weather stripping and reglazing the glass – for much less money. Subsequent testing showed a nearly 70 percent reduction in air leakage, which resulted in a marked improvement in comfort and a significant drop in the Grocoff’s utility bills.

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