Holy audits! What if Noah’s ark were this leaky? Sisler Builders recently had the privilege of performing energy audits and retrofits on Vermont churches. The old churches, the ones built before you were born!
Though Vermont is classified as one of the least religious states in the country, no one can deny that church buildings throughout the state are centerpieces in each community. These buildings are meeting houses that strengthen community and deserve attention.
Sisler Builders’ investigations revealed that these old buildings vary from “fairly leaky to ridiculously leaky… but always drafty,” said Mike D’Muhala, Sisler Builders’ energy efficiency specialist. These qualitative descriptions help interpret the data. Quantitatively the numbers mean energy loss. Many of these old gathering places have mechanical systems that are only meant to be used during church services or community gatherings. Draftiness puts a higher demand on the under-designed systems during heating cycles. A moderate retrofit focusing on air
sealing will successfully stop 30 to 40 percent of air leakage. Air sealing is the most cost-effective way to improve thermal performance of most old Vermont structures.
Many of these unique old churches in Vermont’s towns need further updating to continue to provide use for future generations. Sisler Builders hopes to have the privilege of performing more energy audits and retrofits on Vermont churches well into the future.