Ask This Old House TV // Season 11 // Episode 22

Ask TOH | Melted Vinyl Siding, Energy Audit

General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner solve the mystery of her melted vinyl siding. Then, Tom, along with host Kevin O'Connor, landscape contractor Roger Cook, and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey ask "What Is It?" Afterward, Kevin and a specialist perform a whole-house energy audit.

Melted Vinyl Siding
Tom helps a homeowner solve the mystery of her melted vinyl siding.

Where to find it?
Tom determined that the siding had melted due to the reflection of sunlight from a nearby window. The window had a low-E coating that reflected heat off the glass. Tom suggested shading the window with a tree or an awning, but in this case, the best choice was to install a screen over the window.

This phenomenon has occurred in many locations. Home builders, vinyl siding manufacturers, and window manufacturers are working to address the problem. Click here for more information from the Vinyl Siding Institute.

For more information, please see this academic research paper from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

What Is It?
Roger asks the guys to identify a large black plastic mat.

Roger demonstrated the Kwickan, designed for easy leaf cleanup and manufactured by LTL Home Products, Inc.
Whole-House Energy Audit
Kevin and a specialist perform a whole-house energy audit.

Where to find it?
A professional whole-house energy assessment will examine your home's insulation, appliances, lighting, and heating & cooling systems. It will also determine how airtight your home is. At the end of the assessment, the technician will provide a written report identifying and prioritizing the steps you can take to save energy. For more information about energy audits, visit this U.S. Department of Energy website.

Our energy audit was conducted by Next Step Living.

The Infra-red camera used in the audit is manufactured by FLIR.

The smoke pencil and inflatable chimney damper are manufactured by Chimney Balloon.


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