We consulted with Acentech and in short order developed a plan for triple-glazed replacement windows and additional air-sealing, to deaden the low pitches of truck engines and the high frequencies of tires on pavement.
We quickly realized, though, that, if we were going to replace large expanses of older glass with high-performance windows and doors, that could well serve as a launching pad to much broader opportunities for improving comfort, reducing operating expenses, improving resilience, and making significant reductions in the home’s carbon footprint.
The triple-glazed windows were not only quieter, they were a lot more energy efficient. The improved insulation and air-sealing we were planning for acoustical reasons also increased the efficiency of the house. The 25-year-old oil boiler and radiant heating system was starting to fail, which — coupled with the greater efficiency of the building enclosure — presented us the chance to replace it with state-of-the-art heat pumps. Incandescent recessed lights throughout the house, which had been considered high design in 1993, were changed over to much more versatile, attractive, and efficient LED lighting throughout. Finally, we capped the home off with a 12.4 kW solar PV array.
Our initial energy modeling, which we will track closely against actual numbers, indicate an annual energy savings and carbon reduction of close to 75% compared to baseline. Plus, the house looks and feels great — well-lit, comfortable, and serenely quiet.