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ADVERTORIAL Case Study: A Lifesaving Discovery By Tom Dinette, CEO - Simmitri, Inc. Pamela Garcia, Founder, Simmitri. Simmitri is a Silicon Valley Corporation, birthed in the Gilroy/Morgan Hill area, in 1995, that helps it’s residential and commercial cli- entele harness Solar Energy Technology in all its forms today, and into the future. 408.779.3333 Simmitri’s Solar Home Energy Assessment Revealed a Fatal Flaw in a Customer’s Heating System    M ark and Margaret Stodger were informed that their newly- purchased home would need a roof replacement. Being environmentally conscious, they knew that they were going to take the opportunity to “Go Solar” as well. They wanted to have the entire roof, solar, and energy storage project completed by one company. Based on a business referral from one of their neighbors, Mark and Margaret decided to schedule a consultation with Simmitri. Once the Stodgers made the decision to move for- ward with the solar project, the comprehensive energy assessment was scheduled. During the assessment, Simmitri’s energy efficiency building performance analysts discovered a carbon monoxide leak caused by a cracked heat exchanger in the furnace. This discovery saved the Stodgers from what would have been a life- threatening situation in their new home!  Carbon monoxide is often called the “silent killer” because it is capable of taking a life before its victim is aware they are at risk. It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air. When a person breathes in carbon monoxide, the amount of oxygen carried to the cells decreases, essentially suffocating each blood cell. On average, more than 400 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning produced by non-automotive appliances. The number of people who experience health problems related to carbon monoxide exposure is estimated at 30,000 per year. The possible short-term effects include nausea, confusion, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 Potential long-term effects include chronic headaches, increased risk of heart disease, and early dementia.  Mark and Margaret’s new home was producing upwards of 541 parts per million concentration of carbon monoxide in the air. At this level, three hours of exposure could have been life threatening!  After our assessment, Margaret told us “If I had to move, I would do the energy audit again just to understand my house. We had to replace the furnace; that’s fine, but thank- fully that’s the worst that happened.”  Very few Solar Energy companies acknowledge the need for a comprehen- sive energy assessment before designing a solar system. Even fewer conduct them. Simmitri, however, takes this part of the solar process very seriously. During the energy assessment, a health and safety test is performed on all gas-fired appliances to ensure that the gas is being released from the home properly. The health and safety test is vital in identifying the level of carbon monoxide that is being produced when these appliances are running. Simmitri has found in practice, not just in theory, that an energy assessment is essential in the design of an efficient solar system and the safety and well-being of homeowners.    BOTTOM LINE: Simmitri encourages all customers who are looking at different solar companies to choose one that understands the vital importance of the “whole home” approach to solar. It may just save a life. 51