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Home Energy Audit reviews in Annapolis

  • A
    We hired Advanced Green Home Solutions to perform a household energy audit this past March. We had moved in within the last year and noticed a lot of cold air coming in the house. Our energy bill was over the moon. BGE and the state of MD will only offer energy rebates thru certain MD companies, and I went through the list with great care. This company had only very good reviews, and a comprehensive explanation on their website of exactly what they strive to achieve. The young man who performed the Home Energy Audit, Josue Rodriguez, was great about explaining things and even came back on a weekend to deliver the correct kind of light bulbs to fit our fixtures. He was thorough in his evaluation, although we did have to wait a few weeks for the final report and proposal. ( I should say that we also did not respond back very quickly due to travel obligations and other happenings.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The crew, Angel, Fernando (hope I'm remembering their names correctly), Ricky, & Josue, worked very hard to get our project completed in a professional and timely fashion. We have a large and complicated house so it was a great deal of work. There was an issue with the ventilation fan not working properly, and Rickey came out to fix it in a few days. The switch had to be replaced; now it is working correctly -- there was no problem with the fan itself. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We have definitely noticed a difference in household comfort since our air sealing/insulation project performed by Advanced Green Home Solutions on May 30, 31, & June 1. The air quality is noticeably better, with no more funky smells coming from the crawl space now that it has been encapsulated. The upper rooms are not oppressively hot on really hot days. We are looking forward to testing this further as the summer heat intensifies. So far, our electric bill has dropped considerably, and I will continue to track this.
    - Margaret C.
  • A
    Very impressed with their technician's knowledge and professionalism. He walked throughout the house with me explaining energy-loss issues and pointing out a number of energy-saving suggestions. Also very pleased that the survey included leak-testing our entire home. His thermal imaging equipment provided visual evidence of heat loss issues. Written report I received several days later was very thorough. While the firm did provide estimates for correcting problems found during the survey, there was no pressure to use their services. While I appreciate the special price offered through Angie's list, I would have gladly paid full price for HESS services.
    - David A.
  • A
    American Home Performance provided excellent energy efficiency report, installation and service. Rick performed a home energy review and suggested work to be done. He provided a detailed report with information and pricing for each item and did not push me to contract for all services recommended. The pricing was fair and Rick credited my BGE rebate to the cost Ii needed to pay. The insulation and attic sealing work I had performed by his crew in February was accomplished in one, very long day for them, but they were determined to finish and cleaned up everything before they left. Rick came back to do testing to ensure everything was installed properly. I would recommend this company. Fair pricing and professional service.
    - Mary P.
  • A
    I want to give a HUGE thank you to Kathy, Matt, David, and Tom and crew from Advanced Green Home Solutions. This company performed a BGE home energy audit on our house, two weeks ago. They went above and beyond to diagnose and repair a major air leak in one of our two foot bump outs. There was a constant 10-15 degree temperature variance in one of our bedrooms. It was as if a window was constantly open. This past weekend, we had them air seal our entire house, as well as insulate our bump outs on both the front and back of the house and our entire attic. What a difference this has made!! Our house is no longer drafty, and 67 degrees feels VERY cozy in our house, as opposed to 72, that we used to keep our thermostat on. Our heat actually reaches the temp on the thermostat and shuts off because the house maintains a set temperature now. The work crew that performed the work, was utmost professional and took great care to make sure the problematic issues were addressed and repaired. They even worked through 27 degree weather for 12 straight hours, until the job was done. BGE paid $2000 toward the total invoice, so it ended up being VERY affordable out-of-pocket, for all that was done. My husband and I were so amazed by how many air leaks, a home could have. We had major air leaks in all of our recessed lighting, bump outs, and all over our attic (that was sucking warm air from our living areas). I would highly recommend having a BGE home energy audit! So happy to have gone this route!
    - Cara M.
  • A
    I would highly recommend HESS for the great job that Mo did on my energy audit.  He was extremely thorough, answered all of my questions, and made himself available to walk me through my audit report after he had completed it.  A++++
    - Joseph M.
  • B
    We bought our 2160 sq ft home in September 2014 and have struggled with heating it throughout this winter. Built in 1948 as a summer cottage, it obviously has innate challenges in the heating department and we quickly recognized that our current situation was neither comfortable (the furnace ran constantly with the thermostat set at just 63 degrees and the house was FREEZING) nor financially sustainable (we heat using oil). Something had to change. We did a significant amount of research and chose this company based on the many positive reviews here on Angie?s List.

    The $100 assessment (visual inspection, walk through, blower door test, and thermal imaging) was thorough and took 2-3
    hours. It was determined that our house was 3 times draftier than the industry ideal. Yikes. The company representative reassured me that if we agreed to all of the improvements he suggested, our home would be both comfortable and economic. ?Toasty,? actually, was the word he used. The only room he expressed any doubt about was our sun room, which was originally a screened in porch. He expressed no other qualms about his company?s ability to improve our heating situation. No caveats, no reservations. Before he left our home, I specifically asked ?So this is all fixable, right?? and again he emphatically said the improvements would yield noticeable results immediately. My husband and I agreed to do all of the suggested improvements?all $8,800 worth.
     
    The improvements spanned 3 days (11-13 Feb). The Complete Home Solutions team was in our house for 1.5 days, and the Aeroseal company was in our house for .5 day. There was no problem with the installations up front, except it seemed our project manager (the same gentleman who did our assessment) was rushed at the end. He did not dedicate much time to proving objectively that the house?s heating situation had improved as a result of the completed work. A quick blower door test was done (maybe 20-30 min), and he showed me that our house?s draftiness was decreased by approximately 1/3. Is this good? Is this bad? Is this standard for an ?after? result for heating improvements? I don?t know. There wasn?t any discussion before the project on a mutually agreeable objective outcome/expectation management, and no discussion afterwards regarding what the company considers a successful outcome. The team left and the weather (as you all know) got colder still.
     
    Blower door test aside, let me tell you what we FEEL after almost a month post-work. The house is still very uncomfortable. The thermostat is still set at 63 degrees and the furnace still struggles to keep up. We specifically mentioned during the assessment that we would like to keep the house at 68 degrees without the furnace running constantly. This hasn?t happened. Many of our vents blew weakly, or did not blow hot air at all. This has not improved. The same vents still blow weakly or blow lukewarm air (we were reassured that the Aerosealing would eliminate this problem). The kitchen floor above the crawlspace is still freezing and there is cold air obviously still flowing into the kitchen through the cabinets, even though the crawl space was apparently brought into the conditioned area to solve this problem. We are still walking around bundled up like little babushkas in our own home. Essentially, we see virtually no improvement in our comfort. To add insult to injury, we paid the most we have ever shelled out for oil in February, even though the work was done in the first half of the month and we theoretically should have seen some kind of pay off in the second half of the month. So, not only did our comfort not increase, our economic situation did not improve either. We didn?t even break even.
     
    My final bone to pick regards customer service. I?m not going to call anyone a liar; however, we had two concerning discrepancies post-installation. First, during the assessment we were told that our windows and doors needed caulking to eliminate draftiness. When my husband asked the project manager afterwards if the caulking had been done, the project manager said we didn?t need it after all. I?m not sure what information would have surfaced during the installation phase to refute the information he gathered during the assessment phase, and I?m not a home improvement expert, but I would
    think that the assessment phase is when you?d assess what improvements are necessary to make. When my husband pointed out that the caulking was included in the contract and we were billed for the service, the project manager apologized and stated he would come back out to complete the project. That was Friday 13 February. Today is Wednesday 4 March. Almost 3 weeks and $8,800-paid-in-full later, the company has still not sent anyone out to finish our project despite repeated emails and phone calls. They cancelled yet again for tomorrow (due to the weather?granted, not their fault) and stated they can?t ?fit us in? on Friday. They have bumped us to Tuesday 10 March. Is caulking the windows and doors going to solve our heating dilemma? No. However, I feel that my business is not valued. We have paid for a service that was not rendered, and the company does not seem at all motivated to fix the situation immediately. Why are they working on other projects and fitting us in when they
    can? We have already paid. Our project isn?t finished. I would think that finishing our project would be a priority. We made it clear to the project manager that we intend to add on a 1000 sq ft addition to our home in the next few years, and I would think that a savvy business would recognize the potential for future revenue and treat us with respect and consideration in
    hopes that we would use them again. Not a chance. I can?t even get them to come back out to caulk my windows and doors?what kind of nightmare would it be to involve them in a complicated home addition? Second, we requested during the assessment phase that attempts be made to add insulation into the dormer windows in the front of our home as the cabinets in those walls are very cold. There?s a small door in the bathroom providing access to the dormers, and the project manager assured me he would investigate the area during the installation phase and blow in some insulation if possible. When my husband asked the project manager afterwards if he was able to blow insulation into the dormers, the project manager stated that it wasn?t possible because the dormers were too small and they couldn?t get behind the built in cabinets. We noticed, upon inspection, that the small door in the bathroom providing access to the dormers was still painted shut. I?m not sure how the project manager investigated the dormer situation without opening the door, but between the caulking oversight and the dormer dilemma, I?m beginning to question whether the rest of the project was done by the books.
     
    Overall, we feel defeated, devalued, and taken advantage of. We would NOT recommend this company to anyone else, and we feel that the ?improvements? we paid so much money for have not improved anything at all. The company has not shown any interest in rectifying the situation. Buyer beware.

    UDPATE 3/9/15: After playing phone tag with the company since Friday March 6 to nail down a specific time for window and door caulking and reassessment of the completed work, today the company flat out refused to come back to our home as a result of this Angie?s List review. This confirms what I have implied above?once the company has your money, they are uninterested in maintaining any semblance of professionalism, integrity, or work ethic. I believe this has crossed over into immature, malicious, and vindictive behavior. Rather than behaving in a professional manner and swiftly responding to our initial concerns, the company became upset when I (a powerless party as I have already paid for work that they did not complete) took to the only forum I have in order to voice my concerns. None of the information in my review was new to the company?we had already voiced all of these concerns to them over the phone were assured by management that they would be addressed. Of course, they never were. The company is in breach of contract, and we will be elevating this issue. If you choose to do business with this company, think hard about paying them before you do a thorough examination of their work on your own.

    UPDATE 6/14/15: After a random audit by BGE in which several deficiencies were noted, the company came back out to our house with the owner and caulked our windows, added insulation to the dormer window, added new insulation to the crawl space, and vented our half bath fan through the roof. The staff was polite and the owner apologized for the issues we had earlier with the company. The work appears to be good quality and the roof vent has not leaked despite heavy rain. I'm revising our review to reflect the work that they did up on their return although I'm leaving it at a "B" because I'm not sure the company would have returned to our home had their contract status with BGE not been in jeopardy.
    - Abby G.
  • A
    They were punctual and professional.  Excellent interface with me.  They produced a report of their findings which seemed appropriate for the age and construction of my house.  The report included prices for the various recommended corrections, some of which I decided to do myself.
    - frank h.
  • A
    Dan came to the house on time. Did a walk thru to get an overview of the house. Then setup and figured the pressure in the house and areas where improvements need to be made. Dan was very thorough and would recommend his service.
    - Travis A.
  • A
    Brumwell is closer to an energy consultant than an HVAC  sales and service business.  This is a business that takes a very long view.
    I was suffering from $800+ per month oil bills on my newly purchased house.  Glen Brumwell came by and after looking at the big picture said that I should first start with insulation.  He was right in that there were significant insulation deficiencies. 
    I spent the winter reconciling insulation proposals with building best practices before finally settling on one (they have no ties to insulation firms).   
    I was angry with my oil bills and intended on buying Brumwell?s top price point for the two systems until Glen talked me out of
    it.  My open floor plan meant I wouldn?t recoup the additional cost of the high end system.  He also talked me out of buying a humidifier for each system.  Again, the open floor plan would only need one.
    The final bill was one third less than the national firms quote.  That salesman admitted that they can?t compete with the neighborhood firm.
    The new system runs great.
    - Charles R.
  • B
    Dr. Energy Saver did a good job of responding to my earlier complaint about the timeliness of their response.  I previously purchased a spray in insulation service but was having trouble getting in touch with them to schedule the appointment.  That has changed. They were very responsive and apologetic. I have them scheduled to come out in a couple of weeks.
    I did not give them an "A" based on my prior experience, but would give them an "A" for their recent responsiveness and contacts.  I look forward to the service in a couple of weeks and will update the post, as needed, after that time.
    - Zachary F.
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