Historical society museum benefits from local company’s generosity
FARMINGTON - An effort to reduce heating costs at the historical society's museum on Academy Street was in full swing Thursday, with a local company providing the refit at cost.
An Upright Frameworks crew was pumping a layer of insulation into the attic of the Titcomb House Thursday, as part of a projected three-day weatherization effort aimed at reducing energy costs. Upright Frameworks, a Wilton-based company that specializes in both weatherizing old homes and building new ones with insulated panels, is undertaking the project at cost as part of "Operation Raise ME Up."
Owner Josh Wojcik rolled the program out in September, committing to install up to 100 weatherization refits for those applying before Dec. 31 at cost. The only profit garnered through the effort has been the goodwill of organizations and homeowners.
"The program was a tremendous success," Wojcik said. He believes Upright Frameworks and its 12 employees will be working on "Raise ME Up" projects through February. In addition to the Titcomb House, Wojcik's company will be working on the Children's Task Force's building next month.
The Titcomb House, a historically-significant building and a museum for the Farmington Historical Society, offered special challenges, Wojcik said. The weatherization plan needed to balance energy saving solutions with maintaining the aesthetics of the building, constructed in 1846.
"This is kind of a fun one," Wojcik said. Due to the historical significance, the refit planners needed to use "gentle hands," he said.
Layering the insulation in the attic to slow the flow of air up through the building was a good first step, Wojcik said. He anticipated the project would have a minimum of 20 to 30 percent impact on heating costs, with a 4- to 7-year payback for the society. The historical society decided to proceed with the project after meeting with Wojcik in November.
"Fuel is very costly and we burn more than average for a house kept at 48 degrees," said Society President Taffy Davis in November. "We replaced the roof a couple of years ago, added some insulation, but it’s not enough. We are looking for ways to reduce our costs."
The Farmington Historical Society also recently participated in the "Energy Challenge," a United Way program directed by Nancy Teel to build energy panels for its windows. "Energy Challenge" volunteers and historical society volunteers built and installed those panels.