Real Goods Solar
Thermal Associates
Enhanced Living, Inc.
PlugIn Stations Online
Honest Weight Food Co-op
Home Energy Consultants, Inc.
Click ad for Sponsor details.

Seven Mistakes that Cost Comfort!

Support our local Sponsors.

Click Ad for Sponsor details.

Ferguson Drywall IncEnhanced Living, Inc.Build Smart with Simon
Istock 000014854812xsmall-broken fireplace

The Seven Mistakes That Make

Your Home Feel

Less Than Wonderful And

What You Can Do About It

If you’re like most of our clients, you want your home to be a pleasant place to be and to enjoy – not only for yourself but also for the people you love and care about.

My name is Ed Bishop, President of Enhanced Living in Troy and for the last 35 years I’ve been working with select homeowners whose homes don’t feel as good as they look.

One thing I know for sure is. . .

There are some big mistakes that are being made by many home professionals and these mistakes cause problems that make living in your home less than wonderful.

Some of these problems are:

  • They feel too hot one minute and too cold the next – it’s a blast of heat, then nothing –constantly play with the thermostat
  • The air is too dry
  • The air is too stuffy
  • Some rooms are warmer or cooler than the others
  • My heating system is just too loud
  • Their furnace boiler or air conditioner is old and they don’t trust it
  • They run out of hot water in the middle of a shower or bath
  • It seems like it takes forever for hot water to come out of the faucet
  • Their bathroom has mold or mildew
  • Their heating bills appear to be too high
  • They have a radiant heat system that doesn’t work the way it should
  • There are icicles hanging off their roof in the winter
  • Their indoor environment is Ok, but I know it can be better

Worse yet, these professionals don’t even know they are making these mistakes because they are too focused on throwing their products at your problems.

Some truly believe that the products they sell are the solution.

There’s a saying. . .

“When All You Have Is a Hammer,

Everything Looks Like a Nail”

  • A window company will tell you that windows are your answer
  • A heating company will tell you that a furnace or boiler or humidifier is your answer
  • An insulation company will tell you that insulation is your answer

Why is this so?

First of all professionals rely on information about products and technology from manufacturers, suppliers, trade associations and colleagues.

Most of this information is very good but the problem is that it gets distributed in bits and pieces, like a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Some companies look at all the pieces and never complete the puzzle – but it’s not their fault. . .

  1. Some don’t know where to start
  1. Some are getting the wrong information
  1. Some are intimidated and don’t want to move out of their comfort zone
  1. Some don’t bother to take the time because they’re just too busy trying to make a living

They practice what we call “Seat-Of-The-Pants-Engineering” and unfortunately the consumer who thinks they are making a safe and smart investment  ends up with the opposite result.

This doesn’t have to happen to you if you are aware of these mistakes. . .

MISTAKE #1: Installing improperly sized 90% +  high efficiency furnaces on inferior, poorly designed duct systems - Furnace and air conditioning manufacturers rate the efficiency of their equipment assuming they are installed under ideal conditions.

The National Comfort Institute found that more than 50% of systems that were tested, put out less than 60% of the required air flow of the heating/cooling appliance.

This not only decreases the manufacturer’s efficiency rating but also decreases the rated output.  It leads to homeowner complaints such as lack of comfort and higher than expected energy bills.

Also, installing furnaces that are too large will cause room to room temperature variances.

MISTAKE #2:  Connecting  95% high efficiency boilers to systems that make the boiler operate at only 88% efficiency –The dirty little secret” that is withheld from consumers about high efficiency (condensing) boilers is the fact that they are designed to operate at low water temperatures (135 degrees and lower) in order to be rated at 95% efficiency.

Unfortunately many condensing boilers are running at temperatures that often exceed 180 degrees.

MISTAKE #3: Recommending and installing a central humidifier without investigating the reason why the home is dry.

  • Homes constructed with large wood mass such as some timber frames and log homes can absorb a large amount of moisture from the house air.
  • Homes that have a high infiltration rate allow moisture to escape and dry air to enter.
  • Lifestyle also comes into play - for instance, if only one or two people occupy a home, they don’t take as many showers, do as much laundry or cooking such as a household of 4 or 5 people that creates quite a bit of moisture from these activities.

Failure to understand these facts can cause more of a problem than the one you are trying to fix.

 Here are three examples - - -

  1. Installing a humidifier in a leaky house can cause the humid air that is formed by the humidifier to find its way into the attic, depositing the moisture on the underside of the roof deck, causing mold and severe water damage.
  1. Bacteria can grow in some central humidifiers, allowing the bacteria to become airborne and enter the living area when the fan turns on.
  1.  Introducing moisture into a dirty duct system invites allergens such as mold and dust mites.

MISTAKE #4: Many indoor air quality systems are being installed that have little or no effect. People who are susceptible and sensitive to inferior indoor air are unfortunately paying for systems that don’t do what they are suppose to do

Often overlooked when air filtration and air purifier systems are installed is the actual amount of time they are being used.

The only time most operate is when there is a call for heating or cooling and for those of us who live in the northeast part of the U.S. will only get the benefits of the device only 30% of the time.

MISTAKE #5: Assuming lots of insulation will make a house energy efficient - There is no question that good insulation practices will lead to lower energy bills.

However, a variable that is often overlooked is air infiltration. Air infiltration is the movement of air into and out of a house.

Infiltration can account for up to 60% of the heating bill for a home if not kept in check and can moves through fiberglass insulation, reducing effectiveness.

Tests at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy revealed R-value of fiberglass that is rated as R-19 can end up having an R-value of only13.7.

MISTAKE #6: Improper installation of bathroom fans that have little or no chance to exhaust moisture and odors – There are four common errors that are often made when bathroom exhaust fans are installed;

  1. Improper sizing of the fan
  2. The fan is exhausted directly into the attic instead of outdoors
  3. The use of flexible, plastic duct
  4. Not using a timer to operate the fan

All of these errors create problems such as; mold and mildew on the walls and ceiling, mold and moisture on the under-side of the roof, water damage and lingering odors.

MISTAKE #7: “Failing to adopt “The Whole House Approach”even the best chain will fail if it has a weak link - your home is no different.

It’s necessary to understand how each home component is connected and how one affects the other.

The sum of all system components of a home

 determines the final result

  • If a house is not properly sealed and insulated there is a good chance the heating or cooling system will not live up to expectations
  • A furnace or boiler will not give expected energy savings if they’re installed on inferior distribution systems
  • Humidifiers can damage your home and endanger your health
  • Air filters and purifiers can be a large waste of money

What’s The Answer?

One important term that I learned over the last 35 years is - - -

“Diagnosis before Prescription.”

You wouldn’t get a drug prescription without first going to a doctor to find out what’s wrong with you and your home is no different

It takes proper diagnostic tools, accurate information and a good process in order to make your home safe, healthy and comfortable.

A good contractor will. . .

  • Spend time with you to listen to you and evaluate your situation and offer solutions NOT just products
  • Perform  industry-standard Manual J heat loss and heat gain calculations in order to specify the correct sized furnace, boiler or air conditioner
  • Measure the duct work and perform a duct static pressure test
  • Perform a blower test before specifying a humidifier or whole-house ventilation system
  • Size and install  bathroom exhaust fans according to “The Home Ventilation Institute” guidelines
  • Commission all installations at start up to be sure they operate according to the manufacturers specifications
  • Provide a strong warranty if ever a problem should occur
  • Provide you with the results of the calculations and testing

 Don’t assume that every contractor will do these things because many of them won’t.

Don’t Settle For Less

Now that you’re armed with this valuable information - you won’t fall victim to the 7 mistakes.

You’ll know how a professional should approach your project and you’ll know if you are talking to the right contractor by simply asking what their procedures are and what kind of testing they will do before and after the installation.

If you don’t get the right answers, you’re not talking to the right contractor.

If you. . .

  • Live in a home that has an indoor environment you aren’t happy about
  • You are in the process of remodeling or upgrading your home or heating/cooling equipment
  • Are in the planning stages of building a new home you

And - - -

If you would like some help, we invite you to take a Consultation Session.

Please, don’t worry – it’s “NOT a glorified sales pitch!”

All we want to do is give you important information that’s delivered relaxed and pressure-free to help you make an informed decision.

During your consultation we’ll:

  •  Evaluate your current situation
  • Find out what matters most to you
  • Explore possibilities you never knew existed
  • Present facts that are based on science and physics – NOT sales hype

But the real payoff comes when. . .

  It’s a bone chilling 5 degrees below zero in winter or a sweltering 95 degrees during the “dog days of summer,”  you’ll be able to say. . .

“It Feels So Good To Be Home”

Isn’t that the way it should be?

Please call Ed today at (518) 235-0311 to make an appointment.  You’ll most likely get our voice mail, so please leave your name, phone number and the best time to reach you and I’ll return your call or you can also e-mail me at

We schedule all appointments Monday through Friday – you can pick a time between the hours of 8 AM and 2 PM.

 Let us help you create an “Inviting, Peace-of-Mind Home That Feels As Good As It Looks where you, your family and friends can enjoy a better life and enhanced lifestyle.

Reserve your spot today!


Enhanced Living, Inc.

868 8th Ave

Troy, NY 12182

Phone – 518-235-0311

Comments on "Seven Mistakes that Cost Comfort!"

    There are no comments for this article. Create one in the form below.

Leave a Comment

You must be a Member to participate - please Login or Join!

Let us know how helpful or informative this article was.

You must be a Member to participate - please Login or Join!

Ratings for this Entry:

  1. Ed Bishop's avatar Howard Stoner September 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm


    This is a very informative article. hs