About A-HEET

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Hello there! If you’re looking for advice about weatherizing your home or composting, the information on this site will hopefully be useful. HOWEVER, we stopped doing weatherization work a few years ago, so we can no longer help with that.

When we started, we were happily and proudly filling an important niche. Weatherization and auditing companies were few, often inexperienced and sometimes, well, less than trustworthy. In addition, not all homes were eligible and those that were often had a hard time getting the right work done. Once MA fully implemented MassSave, more work was getting done, but not always well.

By 2012 or so, the MassSave program and its certified vendors were generally providing good advice and good work. (Yes, we have some quibbles about the quality still, but it is generally good.) They will conduct a FREE energy audit and qualify homeowners for various rebates on energy efficiency work. They also provide such steep discounts that having a fleet of volunteers do the work, at cost plus coffee and pizza, no longer made sense.

So these days, we’re still happy to answer questions, we still try to provide some updates with valuable energy saving tips and tricks, but we (meaning Jeremy) are mostly focused on reducing waste by way of making compost.

Judging by the number of people viewing this website daily, even our old instructions still hold great interest, so take a look around, and drop us a note if you’ve got questions.

All the best,

Jeremy

 

(Information below is old, but this is how we got our start.)

We are an all-volunteer (no paid staff) organization who weatherizes (air-seals), homes in Arlington, MA. Homeowners pay for the cost of materials (and food for volunteers) but nothing else.

Our goals are simple:

  1. To raise the level of comfort for the residents by sealing as many leaks as possible,
  2. To save the homeowners money by allowing less warm air to escape (during the winter) and keeping the cool, conditioned air inside (during the summer),
  3. To reduce emissions from the home,
  4. To have a good time working with others in the community.

In about five hours, a team of 30-40 volunteers and trained leaders go into a home to make it more efficient by sealing all gaps with materials you can purchase in most home stores. The last two homes sealed reduced air flow by 30% and 29% respectively. That represents a huge financial savings for the homeowners and increase in comfort.

Prior to events we do extensive examinations, including blower door tests, of each site to get baseline readings. At the end of each event we do another blower door test to see how much air-infiltration has been reduced.

We’re always looking for the next home to weatherize, so if you live in Arlington, MA and are interested please contact us at:

arlheet@gmail.com

Most entries are authored by Jeremy Marin, a member of the A-HEET Board.

3 Responses to About A-HEET

  1. Heather Hewitt says:

    Love the site. Love your mission — and, love the whole “barn raising” community spirit behind this important work.

  2. Robin Varghese says:

    I would love to know if you have suggestions on how to insulate the dormer space that is not the ceiling and not part of the wall but rather the roof line. I would rather not remove all the plaster to add insulation and would rather not have to remove roof shingles to drill holes to add insulation from the outside. I was thinking of a slow expansion foam to be added by drilling small holes in each cavity. I wasn’t sure which foam to use and if there was a source for this beside the small cans you can purchase at the local hardware store. How do you deal with this type of space on your projects.

    Great mission and I would like to know when you’re doing your next project, perhaps I can help out.

    Robin.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Robin, I’m afraid we don’t really do insulation. While I know enough to provide advice in some situations, I don’t have an answer to this one. I can tell you I think expanding foam is not a good idea but I’m not sure. You should contact an insulation professional who can hopefully answer the question as well as qualify you for the many rebates available.

    Good luck and tell us how it turns out!

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