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Dear Editor:

Recently my wife and I received an invitation to a steak dinner for homeowners if we would sit through a short sales presentation. Being a Home Energy Rater, I was curious about what they were promoting. My wife also likes steak dinners. At a Great Bend restaurant we heard a very pleasant presentation of several products to improve the comfort of a home.  

I’ve been around long enough to know that ignorance is used as a sales tool more often than knowledge. There are many parts to the efficiency and comfort of a home. I could explain in detail those omitted from their presentation that would expose why their products will not work as they describe; however I do not have room here. 

Getting my start in the energy rating business during the rebuilding of Greensburg after the 2007 tornado, I have tested and certified energy efficiency for Energy Star, Builders Tax Credit, Kansas Housing and others. I am certified through Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and have inspected and/or tested over 250 houses and apartments since 2007, most of them being in Southwest Kansas. In Greensburg, those homeowners who took time to do the research got an energy efficient home. Those who did not just got a house.

This is not an advertisement of me. It has always been my passion to help people save money. I don’t want to see tens of thousands of dollars leave our rural communities with little or no benefit left behind. The products or services should always benefit the buyer not just the seller! 

Before purchasing a product or service to improve the efficiency of your home do some research. When we’re talking about homes find scientifically proven research, not testimonials. Do the math, if a product costs dollars per unit and only returns pennies back, it will never pay for itself. If your home is not comfortable or efficient, find out where the problem lies. For a fraction of the price quoted to merely air seal the ceiling, a whole house infiltration test can be done to determine if or where there are issues. A duct leakage tests can also be conducted if necessary.

Be sure to find out what products work in your climate zone. We are a predominantly heating climate here.  Products such as they were selling that have some benefit in south Texas does not have the same benefit to us.  Our heating costs typically are 3 to 5 times higher than our cooling costs.

If someone offers you a free dinner by all means eat it, but don’t buy something you know nothing about or it may be the most expensive meal of your life.

Brian Wendland 

Certified Home Energy Rater

St. John