Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Company

Good day!

It's been a while since the last post - much to talk about on limited time.

HzG has left his previous company to forge out on his own, enabling a bigger focus on energy performance and customer service. It has been quite a ride getting started - from departing a group that HzG had been with for 4+ years, to discovering more about people, to re-energizing.

The first few weeks saw HzG battle collusion, bad-mouthing and loyalty. The loyalty piece blew the collusion-bad mouthing combo OUT of the water. HzG has to thank everyone that listened and understood. OK, enough about that...

BIG things happening in Ohio in 2009. It appears that the energy budget will be increasing by up to 40%, enabling HzG and crew to provide additional comfort and savings to that many more people. The biggest issue moving forward is the ability of the various government programs to meet the demand. In order to get more people service, there needs to be more inspectors - and the state is in dire need of inspectors. Hint to anyone that suffered a layoff in this past year - contact Weatherization agencies and inquire about becoming an inspector (fair salary, paid training).

Take care all - and we'll touch base again in the new year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bouncers and Coolers


Jekyll here...

This week, hZg ran into a scenario where I wanted to punch someone in the eye-socket. My crew lead calls me from a job site concerning a distressed client. This client was threatening him (a poor choice, for my crew lead was an ex-bouncer - however one of THE nicest guys you'll know).

Due to final blower door numbers not hitting target, the lead investigated an area of the house where air could be felt moving. The lead lifted a drop ceiling panel, having dust drop from the air onto the kitchen counter top and the dishes in the strainer. The husband (aka Control Freak of his Wife) shouted "What ARE you doing?! You're making a mess out of the kitchen and now my wife has to do the dishes AGAIN!"

Poor "F-in" baby. This house was no castle, however we put homes in better condition each time we leave than when we arrive. We also stay at every home and search until our target numbers can be achieved. I told my crew lead (who was wise enough to call me from outside of the house, out of earshot) - "You are the bouncer, I am the cooler. Be nice until I tell you it's time to not be nice." One of my all-time favorite lines. The crew lead got the point (and pictured me, bald hZg with a mullet - that seemed to lighten the mood) and explained to the male Helen Keller that not only will we clean the kitchen but we'd do the dishes again - once we solved the air leakage problem. It made the guy semi-happy to know that my crew lead groveled - once again "Be nice, until it's time to not be nice."

Moral of the story - some people just are pieces of...not-so-nice-humanity. Treat them fair and as if they were just having a bad day. If this doesn't work...punch them in the eye-socket.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drop Down Attic Stairs

So you think that you've done an excellent job of insulating your attic? Please...If I have to hear a homeowner say one more time, "I did a great job insulating my own attic - but I haven't noticed a difference..." I think I'll puke.

Professionals (not the guys that show up straight from Hee Haw) know what they are looking for in an attic. Air sealing, proper insulation values, calm seas...(another topic, another day).

hZg has been invited into many a proud homeowners' attic to view a job well done. The home owner pulls down the drop down staircase and I immediately know they are full of themselves for no other reason than bad gas.

If you can pull down your drop down staircase and see directly into the attic, there is an excellent percentage the "weekend Tim Taylor" forgot to insulate the hatch. This is a MAJOR insulation bypass, sure to cost the homeowner lots of money.

For brevity - there are insulated drop down stairs, but none have the proper R-value for an attic space. The best solution is the coffin hatch. This is a "coffin shaped" box that surrounds the folded up drop-down stairs. It has an R19 value on the sides and an R38 value on the top. When the drop down stairs are pulled downwards, you see the bottom of the coffin. Once climbing the stairs, you then must remove the lid of the coffin prior to gaining access to the attic. This lid is not only insulated, but weatherstripped as well.

So just when you think you know what you're talking about...think again. hZg will be polite to you and as long as you understand and agree - there'll be no repercussions...however...if you don't agree, there's always a blog to vomit on you...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Refrigerator Air Coils

Today, hZg was left a note from our biweekly house cleaners. Yes, if there's one chore that Mr. and Mrs. hZg despise, it's housecleaning. Plus, we're keeping the economy going...yeah, that's the ticket...
Anyway, the note stated that if we cleaned the coils of our side-by-side refrigerator, we'd probably extend the life of the fridge, as well as save energy.
The NERVE of this simpleton telling hZg about energy and appliance life extension. What does SHE know...? Well, she knows alot.
So, after I retrieve the shop vac from the dungeon, er, basement, I proceeded to examine what she thought was a bit of dust. Low and behold, my allergies kicked into high gear upon the site of the dust bunnies. I think I filled the shop vac. I guess I was due. The last time I vacuumed the coils on the fridge was, let's see, um...never? However, we did buy the unit new - 11 years ago.
Point of the story is? Listen to what everyone tells you; perform what you think is correct. This person was wise regarding the appliance extension - the energy savings is still out for debate - however it does indeed make sense that when an appliance is operating at peak efficiency, money will be saved.
That's it for tonight. Sleep tight, and don't let the dust bunnies bite.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaackkkkkkk

It's been quite a year...quite a bit of analysis of not only the wonderful home market, but myself as well.

Moving forward as hZg blogs, you'll see the true nature of the beast: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I've discovered that I truly love to help people, while despising them at the same time. Quite a battle, huh...?

The business atmosphere has been ever changing. While the economy is currently down, energy savings is up even more than it has been in the past. Grant funds are readily available; middle class people are taking the brunt of the hit, however do not qualify for said funds. Upper class; well, it costs quite a bit to fund the energy supply of the McMansions.

This past year I have been able to travel to various locations across this country, keeping an eye out of unique ideas in energy conservation. I've had the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life; shared values, laughed at theirs...unless of course they agreed with me. Have had a plethora of injuries which opened up new doors to business success. Have hired some absolutely great people to work with; have hired some that I wondered out loud, "Was I on heroin that day of hiring?"

With all this being said, you can expect to see regular irregular posts forthcoming. I will touch on true life energy stories; true life success stories; true life "I hate people" stories (and yes, to Mr. Ms. Anonymous - it DOES work for me); stories of business ventures; stories of regulations that are utterly ridiculous; basically, stories...

Please be advised; while there will not be cursing in this blog, there will be a great fair share of Jekyll & Hyde spewing. You may think I hate people (sometimes I do...) However, if you're smart (and not a complete idiot), you will see the best intentions come through. Whether you agree with them, that's up for debate...and I will be more than happy to debate with you. Heck, you may even change my mind.

Oh, that's funny...