What can I expect from a home energy audit?
A typical home energy audit is comprised of several steps
1) A measurement of the home’s building envelope and volume. A count of the rough openings in the envelope.
2) An insulation check from attic to foundation.
3) An air leakage test using a blower door, to measure the cumulative effect of all the air leaks in the home.
4) The auditor will examine and document your central heating and cooling systems as well as your hot water heating system.
5) Ventilation systems and auxiliary heating sources (fireplaces etc.) are examined and documented.
6) Finally, expect an appliance, (i.e.: old refrigerator) to be tested with an electricity consumption monitor to demonstrate how grossly inefficient some old appliances are.
We believe that whole home energy audits by certified professionals are worth every penny, not to mention the pre and post audit process may allow the homeowner to receive applicable incentives.
Keep in mind that what turns up in the home energy audit report might surprise you: homeowners are often shocked to discover that all the little air leaks throughout their house add up to the equivalent of a window (or two) being left open year round! Just remember that what you don’t know can cost you: it’s better to know!
An energy audit is likely the best place to start if you want to make your home more energy efficient. Home energy auditors are trained to view your house as a system. They will give your house a current and potential energy efficiency rating in your customized report. This report is helpful to inform you of components in the home that are adequate and what areas would benefit by upgrading. Auditors are not there to sell you specific products and you are under no obligation to make the improvements they suggest. They offer objective advice and are there to listen to your concerns on how to make your home more comfortable and efficient.
A home energy audit can identify the areas where you are losing the most heat and the most effective things you can do to improve its efficiency. Bear in mind, where you are losing heat in the colder seasons, you are losing the cooled, conditioned air in the warmer months. Follow through with the recommended upgrades and changes and you could save $100 or more a month on your energy bill.
There are many tools to learn, many are discussed on this website and incentives to reduce make sense. A home energy audit outlines your home’s potential to reduce energy. Minimized demand allows us to continue to rely on clean and renewable electricity and reduces the need for new infrastructure. In addition, the CO2 reductions from reduced energy consumption in gas-heated homes have an immediate positive impact.
It’s always beneficial to know what parts of your home are least efficient so you can make a home energy improvement plan. If you are planning any renovations, a home energy audit will help guide the most energy efficient changes for your home. Not all upgrades are costly and some of them quickly pay for themselves by reducing your energy bill.