Donna Bambrough, Author at Home Energy Solutions

A Holistic Approach to Energy Improvements. Not Just Insulation.

Growing Older and Aging in Place

Growing Old Gracefully

According to a 2012 study, 90% of adults over the age of 65 report they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age.  The term that best describes this is Aging in Place. 

One of the greatest threats to being able to stay age in place is falling.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls are the leading cause of injurious death among older adults.  Common features in an everyday household, such as a lack of support in the shower or bathroom and inadequate railings on stairs are possible dangers to an older person.

At Home Energy Solutions of Wisconsin, we consult with occupational therapists and other experts involved in elder care to determine the best locations for installing railings and grab rails, and we work hard to ensure they’re installed securely and safely, and that they don’t detract from the style and aesthetics of the home.

Tastefully Transforming Spaces

Utilitarian accessories can be functional and stylish

Another major barrier to aging in place is found in the bathroom.  Existing toilets can be replaced or modified to compensate for our inability to get as low as we used to.  Dual-handled faucets can be replaced with single handle or blade-handled styles to allow for easy operation with reduced finger dexterity.  But a bathtub becomes impossible to access without assistance once we rely on a walker or wheelchair for mobility.

Accessible can be beautiful

Our capabilities include the knowledge and expertise to transform an existing bathtub-style bathroom into a beautiful, updated space that will please and accommodate everyone, from the physically able through walker users to the wheelchair-bound.  We plan the space according to the user’s tastes and needs, both now and anticipated, and can do everything from installing taller toilets and wheelchair-friendly sinks and vanities to removing tubs and installing barrier-free showers.

Kitchens can also be adapted by installing faucets with either single handle or blade-type handles, raising or lowering countertop heights, installing cabinets with room for wheelchairs underneath, or completely modifying the layout.

Entering the home can become a challenge as well.  Front stoops and step-up garage entries can be tastefully modified by replacing concrete steps with gentle, sloping concrete that flows from floor level to driveway level and is landscaped to look like it was always there rather than temporary-looking wood ramps.

Little Changes Can Make A Big Difference

Additionally, we can go through a home and make minor changes that make a world of difference to someone with diminishing capacities. 

Expanding a door from 28 to 36 inches is walker and wheelchair-friendly

Things like additional lights in work areas like the kitchen and bathroom, replacing toggle-style light switches with easier to operate (and see) lighted rocker-style, adding motion sensors in rooms, or fabricating elevated platforms for washers and dryers can make it easier and safer for loved ones to be at home longer.

Truly Golden Years

As “The Greatest Generation” ages, we, their children and grandchildren, want to make sure they are able to stay in their homes for as long as possible.  At Home Energy Solutions of Wisconsin, we have worked hard to develop skills and knowledge to offer a great combination of beautiful upgrades for our elders and peace of mind for the generation behind them.

Is someone you love getting older?  Are you looking to make your home safer and more accessible as you get older?  Give us a call.  We’d be honored and excited to help you make your Golden Years comfortable and memorable.

What is a Home Energy Audit?

Sometimes, when there’s nothing on the ‘to-do’ list, I like to load the family into the car and take a drive in whatever direction the car is facing.  We go places we’ve never been, see things we would never otherwise see, and generally have an enjoyable time.

When there’s a specific destination in mind however, going in a random direction isn’t the best way to get there.  You need a map that shows your starting point, your ending point, and things along the way that can help or hinder the trip.  Google maps does a great job of showing you which routes are the fastest, where to stop for fuel, repairs, rest, etc. and where road construction might make the trip more difficult.

But, what does this have to do with your home, and how to make it more comfortable, healthy, and efficient?

Great question!  I’m glad you asked.

Improving the comfort of your home shouldn’t be a Sunday drive.  When you’re investing your hard-earned money on your home, it’s best to know where you’re starting from, what your goal is, and the best way to get there without wasting time and/or money.

This is where an home energy audit comes in.

Road Map To Comfort

An home energy audit analyzes how you spend time in your home, how your home uses energy, obstacles that might prevent your home from working better, and offers ways your home can meet your needs in the most cost-effective way possible.

Some companies will tell you an home energy audit isn’t necessary – that your home is just like many others they’ve worked on, and that experience tells them exactly what your home needs.

That’s like pointing your car in a random direction and trying to get to a specific location.  Doesn’t seem too efficient, does it?

Your Home Is Like A Fingerprint

At Home Energy Solutions of Wisconsin, we know that every home, just like the people living in them, is unique, and no one solution will work for everyone.

Our home energy audit begins with a walk-through of the house, along with a conversation about both the house and how you spend time in it.  We want to know how you use your home, how your home treats you, and how you want your home to look and feel.  This helps us define the goal, or destination, for your home’s performance.

Once we know the goal, or where you want your home to be, we can begin working on the roadmap to getting it there.

Finding The Dead-ends And Detours

The next step in developing the ‘roadmap to comfort’, after the walk-through, is a scientific test of your home’s mechanical and structural systems.  We want to make sure your home’s heating, cooling, and water heating systems are doing their job efficiently and safely, and will continue to do so after your comfort goals for the house are reached.

Your home’s exterior is viewed for obvious issues such as: roof or wall leaks, improperly sloped landscaping, and other potential problem areas around the perimeter of the house.

Blower door

Inside the home, your mechanical equipment, fireplaces and/or wood burning stoves will be checked to make sure they’re operating properly and safely.

We’ll also do a visual inspection of your attic, basement, and crawl space, looking for moisture and mold issues.

After the home and its systems have been checked over, we’ll perform a blower door test, which measures the air tightness of the home, to find areas where your home’s comfort can be improved.

We’ll also may use an infrared camera to further identify air leaks and to show where insulation may be lacking.

Drawing The Map

Once your home has been inspected and analyzed, we’ll use the specific information gathered, along with computer modeling software, to determine where your home is misusing energy.  We’ll also develop a list of improvements that can be made, along with the energy savings each of those improvements can be expected to deliver.

Now that the entire roadmap has been developed, and all the potential pitfalls and obstacles have been identified, it’s time to plan the rest of the trip.

A Successful Journey

With your goals and budget in mind, we’ll work with you to develop a plan and schedule that delivers the biggest increase in comfort for the least amount of expense.  Our skilled craftsmen will then implement the plan, keeping you informed along the way, and deliver to you a home that is more comfortable, healthy, and efficient, all of which are easy to accomplish if you know in advance where you’re going.

Ready To Get Started?

If one of your goals is to have a more comfortable, healthy, and efficient home, call 888.719.5905 or learn more at Home Energy Solutions of Wisconsin. Together, we’ll create your own ‘Google map’.

More than Insulation

At Home Energy Solutions of Wisconsin, our tagline ‘Comfortable  Healthy  Efficient’ is broad-reaching, and there’s a reason behind it: because we can do much more than air sealing and insulation for your home.  From something as simple as fixing a squeaky door to remodeling an entire room, we can tackle almost any project on your list.

We’re Problem Solvers

Every home is unique, each presenting its own challenges and obstacles to  successful insulation project.  When a home has problems that must be solved before insulation work can be performed, companies that are able to only insulate your home are faced with several choices.  One choice is to make you, the homeowner, contract and manage other contracting trades.  This requires extra effort and frustration on your part.  The second option is to not do the work.  A third choice that some less-than-ethical companies  will opt for is to ignore the problem and hope nothing bad happens, which we’ll talk about in a future post.

We feel the best solution for your peace of mind is to solve the problem without causing you extra work or frustration (or potential future damage).  That’s why we maintain a staff of trained carpenters who can quickly and expertly fix structural problems, leaky roofs and/or walls, or any other problems that may arise.

Opportunities For You

Because we have these skilled craftsmen available, we’re able to use their talents for more than just fixing leaky roofs.  We’re also able to update your tired kitchen.  Or replace the flooring in your living room.  Or maybe transform your too-small bathroom into a relaxing retreat.

With your ideas and our imagination and craftsmanship, there’s almost no dream we can’t make a reality for you.

Everyone Has Limits

Although we have the ability, there are some projects we won’t undertake.  Ask us to build a house for you?  We’ll politely say ‘No thanks.’  How about an addition?  Nope, but thanks for asking.  A new garage?  Same answer.

Larger projects keep us from doing what we do best; making homes more comfortable, more efficient, and healthier for you.

We’re best at fixing existing buildings.  That’s the principle the company was built around, and that’s where our talents are best used.  I’ve always been told to ‘Do what you know’, and Home Energy Solutions of Wisconsin knows how to make homes better.

Comfortable  Healthy  Efficient

If you’ve got a home that is too cold in the winter, too warm in the summer, or you’re just tired of looking at pink tiles in your bathroom, give us a call.  We’d love to look at your home and help make it… Comfortable  Healthy  Efficient

Comfortable is more than just a temperature

As part of our series about the tagline ‘Comfortable Efficient Healthy’, we’re diving into the non-insulation/energy efficiency ways Home Energy Solutions of Wisconsin can help you make your home a better place to be.

This week we’ll show how we can help make your home more comfortable.

Comfortable Means More Than Temperature

Here’s an example of how ‘Comfortable’ reaches beyond insulation and energy efficiency:

When Curtis and Trish, a young couple in the Appleton, Wisconsin area, purchased their 1990s home several years ago, they knew the kitchen didn’t match their style or needs.

The kitchen was ready for an upgrade. From the tiled countertops, through the dated-looking cabinets to the two-toned ceramic tile floor, nothing matched their style or needs.

In essence, they weren’t comfortable in their kitchen.

In partnership with an area contracting company, Home Energy Solutions of Wisconsin worked with Curtis and Trish to create the kitchen of their dreams.

And The Results Are In

Complete with new flooring, custom cabinetry, granite countertops, and a glass tiled backsplash, Curtis and Trish now have a kitchen space that is warm, inviting, and yes, Comfortable.


Thanks, Curtis and Trish, for allowing us the opportunity to help you make your home a more comfortable place for you and your family!

The Tagline That Says It All

So, the next time you’re looking for a partner on a special project, remember, our tagline says it best: Comfortable  Efficient  Healthy.

What your neighbors are saying about us...


"Cannot believe how much longer the house stays cold, with AC hardly running at all. Was even able to raise room temperature and started those savings on the AC. Looking forward to winter and know we will enjoy the same extra warmth and savings! Best thing we ever did!"

- Mark Gorham

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