LESLIE: Penny in Illinois is on the line and she’s dealing with some frost on a meter. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
PENNY: Well, we have a brand-new home and the outside is where the meter is and stuff like that. Well, cold air gets into that little pipe area and then comes into the basement and puts a patch of frost on the wall in the basement downstairs. And I was wondering if there was anything I can do to put something over that gas meter to protect it from getting so cold.
TOM: You don’t have to worry about the gas meter getting – being protected, because gas meters are meant to be outside in all sorts of weather. That said, though, if you’re getting that kind of cold air in your basement, that’s got to be causing you big energy losses. So I would try to seal those spaces where that cold air is getting in, to try to keep that space as warm as possible. Because that is going to add to your heating cost.
PENNY: OK. But I talked to the builder and he said you really can’t do anything inside because then you’re looking at a fire hazard. If you try to insulate inside the house, then there could be a fire hazard there.
TOM: What, in the basement? With basement-wall insulation?
PENNY: I was thinking by where the gas meter was. That’s where I kind of …
TOM: But again, you don’t have to worry about the gas meter. That said, you can insulate any – you can add insulation to exterior walls and you certainly can add insulation near a gas meter. It’s not like it’s a source of flame, OK? It’s a piece of equipment where – through which all the plumbing passes. But I mean it’s not like there’s a flame there.
So if your builder is telling you that, it sounds to me like he’s trying to get out of a project.
PENNY: Gotcha. OK. Thank you. I appreciate your help on that.