What Other Tools are in the Auditor’s Toolkit?

What Other Tools are in the Auditor’s Toolkit?

This post is the final in our series featuring information about home energy assessments, and what’s involved in the process.

While a blower door test or infrared camera are two of the more common ways an auditor can help you assess energy waste in your home, an auditor can also use other measurement techniques to provide long-term information about air leakage and energy loss in your home.

How do these technologies work, you ask?

PerFluorocarbon Tracer (PFT) measurement technique

  • The PFT technique uses different types of non-toxic gasses to determine a home’s airtightness and to find out if there are any leaks in the structure. The gas dissipates through the house and an average concentration reading determines the building tightness.
  • An auditor may want to use this test in conjunction with a blower door test to account for changes in air pressure, weather and wind speed, or any family activities that may affect the rates of air leakage over a period of time.

Furnace efficiency meters & Surface thermometers

  • A surface thermometer reads the surface temperature of anything it’s pointed at and gives auditors insight into heat retained by various surfaces in your home. This helps the auditor—and you!—understand how to heat and cool your home.
  • An auditor may want to use meters and thermometers to determine if your home heating & cooling systems are working properly and are effectively insulated.

After your auditor has completed his/her assessment, you will be presented with a report detailing all the ways your home wastes energy and opportunities for improvement. The report will include recommendations you can choose to implement in your home to reduce your energy use. These opportunities for improvement can range from caulking and sealing to adding insulation or duct sealing, just to name a few. Your auditor can provide suggestions on which projects you should consult a contractor and which recommendations are do-it-yourself.

To learn more about ways you can save energy around your home, visit VirginiaEnergySense.org and check out the ‘At Home’ section for tips and information to get you started reducing your utility bills today.