Recently, a long time @designREMODEL and new @homeWATCH client asked if we could oversee and coordinate the installation of an air conditioning system in their second home. I suggested that I review all areas of their home before making any recommendations for a course of action.
After looking the house over which was built in 1963, I made the following suggestions.
I noticed mold in the basement and suggested that we bring in Mold Doctors molddoctors.net and have them perform an assessment and non-invasive remediation to remove the mold.
- The next step would be to clean and paint the cinder block walls and concrete floors with paint formulated to be used on masonry and concrete. Doing this would help slow down the movement of moisture from the exterior.
- To control any moisture that did make it into the unfinished basement, I recommended that they purchase a dehumidifier that would remove any moisture. I specified a dehumidifier with a built-in pump, thus eliminating the chore of having to empty the collection bucket every day.
- I then requested that two local HVAC companies perform an assessment on how to effectively and efficiently cool the house and, more importantly, control the humidity.
- Finally, I suggested that the homeowners arrange an energy audit and weatherization of their home from MassSAVE. www.masssave.com They will locate areas of your home where there is constant energy loss and make recommendations on how to “plug the leaks.” MassSAVE also provides a quote for any weatherization and insulation work, which is subsidized significantly, saving my clients money. In addition, they were also able to take advantage of any available rebates on the AC system installation.
Wow! You might think, all they asked was for an AC system to be installed. True. Yet as noted in the title of this post, your home is actually a complex environment, and adding an AC system would change the environmental dynamics, possibly creating unintended consequences.
Mold loves moisture, which is continually seeping through the foundation walls and floor of this house. Installing the AC (which would be moving large volumes of air) could possibly draw mold spores up into the living spaces of the home, which would be detrimental to the long term health of my clients.
I really could go into the weeds on this post. Suffice to say. This is an excellent example of how we @homeWATCH Cape Cod see your home as a complex environment and how we can guide our clients in finding solutions to challenges that invariably crop up as part of owning a home.