Fall, 2014
Damascus, Arkansas

Petit Jean Electric Cooperative member Connie Jefferies of Damascus has won the seventh annual contest sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

According to Bret Curry, manager of residential energy marketing for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, this year’s makeover contest was designed for members who reside in manufactured homes.

“Manufactured homes comprise 15 percent of Arkansas’ housing stock, have some of the highest electric bills and are very uncomfortable during hot and cold weather extremes,” Curry said. “The makeover project serves as a teaching resource for all Arkansans.”

As the makeover winner, Jefferies’ 1999 single-wide home will receive up to $50,000 in energy efficiency improvements. During a recent energy audit, electric cooperative energy efficiency experts pinpointed reasons for the high electric consumption in the 840 sq. ft. dwelling. Jeffries had an uncomfortable home and $300 electric bills last winter, he said.

The Project Starts

Energy Efficiency Makeover- Manufactured Home Edition Week One Update from Gary Bean on Vimeo.

“Our diagnostic testing revealed that 50 percent of the air volume within the home was leaking to the outside,” Curry said. “We also discovered substandard and improperly installed insulation, inefficient windows, no moisture barrier, an inefficient heating and cooling system and non-Energy Star appliances.”

“A properly built dwelling of this small size should average total monthly electric bills of $100 or less,” Curry said. “The good news is our makeover project is a wonderful medium for teaching Arkansans how they can resolve their energy problems, improve the comfort of their homes and lower their utility costs.”

Duct Sealing

Sealant Tech from Gary Bean on Vimeo.

A common theme among many manufactured homes is very leaky ductwork and improperly insulated floors. The result is an uncomfortable home with utility bills higher than necessary. The solution for our makeover project was to seal the ducts as displayed in these photos. Summit Builders used the Spray Pod 2.0 which is the portable spray foam equipment developed by Sealant Technologies seal and insulated the heating and cooling ducts. Spray Foam on ducts is a very efficiency way to provide an excellent thermal, moisture and air barrier. 

Summit Builders 

Summit Builders Group from Gary Bean on Vimeo.

Plus, this product adds structural strength to the ductwork. I stood on a sample section of sealed ductwork to demonstrate the physical characteristics. You'll see that in an upcoming video! You may wonder why that is important? It's not uncommon for improperly installed ductwork to become disconnected over time due to inferior tapes, poor assembly, pet and critter activity under homes, etc. The product will also be applied to the underside of the floor to serve as an insulation and an air and moisture barrier.

The Finished Project

2014 Energy Efficiency Makeover Wrap-up from Gary Bean on Vimeo.

Spray Insulation Vs. Fiberglass

Infrared thermal imaging reveals how heat behaves with certain building materials. Our initial energy audit revealed improperly installed fiberglass insulation. The area of the thermal image was taken several weeks ago on an 80 degree day. But how can we really confirm the image interpretation is correct? Send in the makeover team! 

Today, we removed the side panels from the manufactured home and were able to make an accurate confirmation. This, and numerous other locations were not properly insulated. So, what is an appropriate solution? SealantTech spray insulation applied by Summit Builders. This product serves as a thermal, moisture and air barrier. When completed, the Jefferies home will have dramatically improved comfort and lower electric bills.