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Ductless split air conditioner installed in Northeast Philadelphia row home

Comfort Challenge

The Morgan Signature Story by Paul Giorgi

Background

Kevin & Brittany Morgan bought their Parkwood Manor home back in 2012 and immediately set out to make it their own. Apart from the kitchen and the heating and air conditioning systems, everything was either replaced or upgraded. The enthusiastic and rewarding enhancements included a deck off the back and a basement man cave the envy of any Philadelphia Sports fan. Unfortunately, once the dust settled and the appearance of the house was satisfactory, they realized that other problems were arising. A scorching hot second floor in the summer, a freezing basement in the winter and utility bills made it difficult to enjoy the renovations. As they sought out solutions and did their research, they heard about ECI Comfort and their Comfort Challenge. They made the call and found that these problems were commonplace in their particular style of row home built by the Korman Corporation in the late 1950’s. Kevin was put in touch with BPI (Building Performance Institute) Certified Comfort Adviser, Paul Giorgi of ECI who heads up their Building Performance Program. Paul got started with an Energy Assessment of the home to detect problem areas and to devise a plan for the best Comfort Solution.

Strategy

Paul performed a variety of inspections and tests to discover the root of these problems and inefficiencies. Two integral tools that Paul utilized for the assessment were the Blower Door and Thermal Imaging Camera. A blower door is a machine used to measure the airtightness of buildings. It can also be used to test ductwork airtightness. Thanks to the capable technology Paul was able to pinpoint the problem areas that included significantly higher than normal air leakage and ductwork that went far beyond the typical duct problems for this home. Further investigation found that the gas furnace had a cracked heat exchanger and the former homeowner installed a duct that went to nowhere, but allowed the air from the attic to fall down into the basement.

Solution

Paul worked with Bill Eberhardt, ECI’s Installation Manager and with Kevin and Brittany to map out a plan and prioritize their options. The cracked heat exchanger would have to be dealt with, but having just completed the renovations the prospect of opening up the walls to repair the concealed ductwork wasn’t an appealing option. Many homeowners resort to replacing the equipment with larger equipment with the idea that a bigger unit with solve the problem. Paul explained how this actually makes matters worse. See “Bigger is not Better”. Paul recommended replacing the furnace with a smaller variable speed heater and air conditioner; seal off the defective and inaccessible ductwork, air seal and insulate and install a Mitsubishi Ductless Hyper Heat system in the Basement Man Cave and Master Bedroom.

Results

The Morgan’s took ECI’s Comfort Challenge and came out victorious. Kevin was thrilled with being able to keep the Man Cave as cold as he wanted with his new Mitsubishi Ductless unit while Brittany and their daughter Jasmine could keep the rest of the house at the temperature they were comfortable with. Even with the Polar Vortex the utility bills went down and the house was never as comfortable.

The comprehensive approach and well thought out solutions provided by the ECI Comfort team established a more satisfying environment for the Morgans. One in which they can enjoy the comfortable temperatures while cheering on professional Philadelphia sports teams, for example! The unmatched peace of mind and gratification of an efficient home is now a reality for the Morgans.

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