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Get A Home Energy Audit

Posted on March 7, 2016 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

Many energy companies are now offering the opportunity to figure out ways you can save money while helping save the environment all at once. It’s called a ‘home energy audit’ which entails an estimate of various energy saving fixes you can implement throughout your home. A private company may be hired to perform the audit however some energy companies may offer it free of charge.

The US Department of Energy describes a home energy audit as,

“A home energy audit helps you pinpoint where your house is losing energy and what you can do to save money. A home energy auditor will also assess health and safety issues that might exist in your home. The audit involves two parts: the home assessment and analysis using computer software.”

It is estimated that between 5% and 30% of your overall residential energy costs can be saved after improvements are made as a result of a home energy audit. Below describes what you might expect if choosing an energy audit.

Auditor’s Equipment

Receiving a professional home energy audit is a highly detailed procedure that goes beyond using the naked eye for easily identifiable energy breaches. Specific tools may be used by the new breed of energy auditors.

These might include:

Infrared camera - Determines insulation and air leakage.

Watt meter - Device and appliance electricity measurement.

Draft gauge - Chimney draft analyzer.

Combustion analyzer - Measures flue gas temperature, leakage and carbon monoxide.

Leak inspection soap bubbles - Measures potential gas leaks in fuel combustion appliances.

Moisture meter - Moisture level measurement in wood, plastic and other household materials.

Blower door - Large fan that simulates 20mph winds that sucks out air and depressurizes the home for precise air leak measurement.

Inspection mirror - A telescoping mirror that enables visual access to difficult energy compromised areas which would otherwise go unnoticed.

Digital probe thermometer - Measures excessive energy use in heat generating appliances as well fan operating temperatures.

Manometer - Tests exhaust devices for optimal use and targets various potential air leakage.

Smoke generating device - Smoke or non-toxic fog machine to detect air and duct bleeds.

Inspection Protocol

The home energy auditor will usually follow several steps that cover a wide range of potential breaches. This detailed formula enables a detailed final assessment offering several fixes. The inspection protocol steps are:

  • Examine prior year’s energy bills
  • Get house info from owner
  • Describe how the audit will be performed
  • Exterior inspection
  • Health and safety inspection
  • Interior inspection
  • Electrical system inspection
  • Combustion appliance inspection
  • Blower door test
  • Analyze findings and construct an energy report

Common Culprits 

Like any inspection protocol there are the go-to spots which are almost always guilty of energy neglect. An auditor will often first check the fireplace, windows, combustable duct blockage and lightbulb use. However, every room will be covered thoroughly including the attic, bathrooms, garage and basement.

The Department of Energy reports,

“The average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-foot square hole. That’s like leaving a medium-sized window open 24 hours a day.”

 

Get your home energy audit today. Make sure your auditor uses as many tools as possible and beware of those that just come in with an infrared imaging device. These devices are very useful but should not be the only tool used, even if the auditor insists it is all that is needed.

 


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Eco Home Improvement, Save Energy and was tagged with ENERGY EFFICIENT, home energy audit, US Department of Energy, Watt meter

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