What’s Involved in a Home Energy Audit?
This post is the first in our series featuring information about home energy assessments, and what’s involved in the process.
We hear from many people who say they aren’t sure what steps to take to improve the energy efficiency of their home. One way to help assess how much energy your home uses and identify measures you can take to improve efficiency is to conduct a home energy audit (also called an energy assessment). A professional energy audit can save you time, energy and extra savings as a result of their findings.
During an assessment, the auditor will analyze your energy bills, and ask you about your comfort in your home, including questions on drafty areas. The auditor first examines the outside of the home to determine the size of the house and its features. Then, s/he will go room by room taking notes, conducting tests and identifying potential energy savings. The auditor will also test your heating and cooling system to see if it is running well or needs a tune up.
A typical assessment may include the following tools:
- Blower doors to determine a home’s air tightness
- Infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation
- Furnace efficiency meters
- Surface thermometers
- PFT Air Infiltration Measurement Technique [rarely offered]
Things you can do to prepare for a professional audit:
- Make a list of any existing problems such as condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms
- Gather copies or a summary of your home’s yearly energy bills
- Know your home’s average thermostat setting for summer and winter
If you don’t have budget to hire a professional auditor, you can assess your home’s energy loss by using our Home Energy Check List and visiting the Do Your Own Energy Audit page on our site. Both resources provide background and tips to help you identify areas you can improve around your home to save energy and money on utility bills. Once you’ve identified those trouble spots, check out our other blog posts that provide information about DIY projects like programming your thermostat, weather stripping, insulation and window film.