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Back in the early 2000's.
Before I started out on my journey into the world of home performance, I was an industrial energy efficiency expert. I spent several years working in food plants, mining operations, automotive and airplane plants, steel and paper mills, you name it. If you've seen the show "How's It's Made," then you have a good picture of the early years of my career. I loved it!
Fast forward to 2007.
I decided to explore ways I could use what I had learned and what I was doing for the industrial sector to help individuals. After a few years of research in building science for homes, I invested in equipment and training, then officially started American Energy Advisors in 2009.
AEA's first job, March 2009.
A woman in her early 80s, called and was extremely upset that her friends had removed her home from the group card-game rotation because of the "fog on her windows". Her primary concern was that friends wouldn't come over and play cards anymore. She hired AEA to do some testing.
She lived in a small, single story brick home near 50th and Blondo built in the 1950s. After running a blower door test, I discovered that her home was "not breathing". From my training, I knew homes that are too tight do not naturally breathe, and her home was extremely tight. Her windows had been replaced two years earlier. Her daily activities (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.) encouraged high humidity in her home. These moisture loads accompained with a very tight home, were producing condensation that made the windows foggy. I also noticed the indoor air quality in her home was poor (it was quite stuffy). Her home no longer had the natural air leakage around the windows which it experienced with the previous 60 year old windows. I recommended a small affordable ventilation system (ERV – Energy Recovery Ventilator), and I helped her arrange the installation through local contractor.
One month later.
I followed up with her to see if the windows were better and the indoor air quality had improved. She was so excited that the windows no longer "fogged-up", and she was able to once again welcome her friends back into her home to play cards. More importantly to me, she said that she was no longer using her oxygen tank that she had been using for nearly two years.
As I thanked her for the opportunity to help her, my eyes began to well up. I realized I had done something great for someone. I stared at the wall for a few minutes and it became very clear that my mission was (and still is) to help people live better lives. Immediately, I retired from my endeavors in the industrial energy efficiency sector, and focused all my resources and passion on building a company with people that shared my passion... to help homeowners make informed and cost-effective decisions.