I was at a seminar a number of years ago and they said that there was about $279 Billion worth of air sealing needing to be done on existing buildings in this country. They said if you took 1,000 contractors in each state that do nothing but that, they figured it would take 66.6 years to get it all done. So that was the day I decided to start my own company.
Basically if you have a pulse and you’re going to show up to work everyday and you’ve got a little bit of common sense, we’ll put you on and we will train you. There isn’t any prerequisite to go up into the attic and start crawling around and digging through insulation and air sealing holes and stuff. We will train you. It’s not rocket science. It’s hard, dirty work, but it pays well.
When you have full employment, everyone is going to be happier, the whole community is going to be better off. There’s going to be less crime, less drug abuse, less of a whole lot of bad things. When people are happy, they get along better. When they have plenty of food in the refrigerator, it’s better for everybody. I think there’s going to be a huge demand for a lot of these energy efficiency projects, especially what I do. Probably 80% of the homes in the metro area for example need air sealing and need insulation because they are not up to current standards or what we know to be how they should be performing.
One of the funny things is that everything we do is energy efficiency related and I never talk to people about that. What I talk to them about is comfort and being healthy in their house, better air quality. After I go over all those things, then I tell them they are going to save some money anyway and reduce their energy usage.
If I tell them, we are going to air seal your attic, your floors are going to become warmer, your indoor air quality is going to improve, your drafts are going to minimized, your indoor humidity is going to be up in the winter so you can run a lower temperature, your indoor humidity is going to go down in the summer so you can run a higher temperature and still be comfortable. Those are all the things that are going to have a dramatic impact on their life every single day.
Climate is important to me because my teenage daughter bangs it into my head on a regular basis. Every time something doesn’t get recycled or composted, she’s all over it. She’s fully engaged so she holds me accountable. But I think about it, I know we need to make changes. At least I know I’m doing my part to help make things better, probably as much as I can. If we do 100 homes and they save 20% on their energy usage, that’s a more significant impact probably than the average person could make in their daily life.
Brian Larson is the owner and founder of Air Seal Tech, an insulation and air seal company based in Bloomington, Minnesota.