Energy Audits and Why They Are Important

Energy Audits

According to the Energy Star program, over 50% of the energy used by U.S. homes can be attributed to heating and cooling. If your home has older and inefficient HVAC equipment or it hasn’t undergone energy efficient improvements, chances are a lot of your energy and money is going to waste. In a separate study, it was revealed that an average American household spends well over $2,000 on energy bills alone which means any step taken to save on energy can mean significant monetary saving.

What is An Energy Audit?

Also referred to as a home energy assessment, an energy audit refers to a room by room review of the efficiency with which your home uses energy. You can decide to do a rudimentary assessment by yourself by simply walking around your house on a windy cold day and identifying drafty windows and places that are extremely cold. However, the best way is to hire a professional energy auditor who scientifically assesses your home using diagnostics such as blower door tests to detect air leakages and thermographic scans to determine over or under insulated areas.

How Energy Audits Work

During a blower door test, the professional energy auditor affixes a flexible and airtight door over the exterior door frame which leaves the exterior door frame open. The blower door shroud is fitted with a powerful fan that effectively removes the indoor air which in turn lowers pressure. During energy audit exercise, all your exterior doors and windows must be closed as well as the fire place flue vent. The point for this test is to see where air comes in. you should also turn down your thermostat during the audit so as to ensure the system doesn’t automatically start because of a possible drop in temperatures.

It is important you insist that a calibrated blower door test be performed instead of an uncalibrated one. This is because a calibrated blower door test utilizes sensors to measure the exact amount of air being pulled out of your home thus giving you an accurate interpretation of your home energy use.

A thermographic scan can be done together with a blower door test or simply as a standalone energy audit diagnostic. This system uses a thermographic scanner which is a video camera that makes the infrared spectrum visible to the naked eye. Using the information gathered from the thermographic scanner, the inspector can then visibly assess the surface temperature of the various components of the home. This system is mainly used indoors to measure the effectiveness and coverage of insulation. For instance, it may tell you that a particular spot on the exterior facing wall has a relatively cooler temperature spot because it has inadequate insulation.

After the energy audit, the inspector then prepares a report which has several recommendations on how you can make your home energy efficient.