What To Expect From Energy Auditing
Maybe your home is a little drafty. Maybe you’re still living with old single pane windows. Maybe your furnace is old and in need of repair. This is the year you make major efficiency improvements to your home to make it a more comfortable and efficient place to be.
Before you take the next step and add or install something new to your home, have a professional come in to perform an energy audit instead.
A pro can help you determine where and why energy is being wasted and what you should do to fix it. Today’s energy specialists go beyond simple checklists. Instead, they study the building as a system, looking at how it functions on every level, from safety, comfort, energy efficiency, and how it impacts indoor air quality.
And let’s face it, no matter how old or new your home is, construction flaws can exist. We’ve seen brand new houses with ductwork installed incorrectly and old homes where ductwork is non-existent. Age rarely ensures a perfectly working home. Once you know where your problems lie, however, that’s when you can begin making changes that will have real impact.
A home energy audit contractor uses sophisticated equipment, like blower doors and infrared cameras to pinpoint where problems exist. They look for air leaks and places with inadequate insulation. They test tune-up equipment that needs minor repair or adjustments. They often will provide air sealing work as they go, offering advice on major work that should be performed later to continue improving your home’s air flow.
Think of a home energy audit as a doctor visit for your home. It’s a check-up you can’t afford not to do. It clues you into where your bigger problems may be.
Common tests include:
A blower door – this is used to determine your home’s air tightness. It’s a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an outside door and pulls air out of the house to lower indoor air pressure. This helps the auditor determine the air infiltration rate and better identify where leaks occur throughout your home.
A duct blaster is a blower door test for your duct system. Instead of pulling air out, it uses a fan to force air into the system until it reaches a standard pressure. Then an instrument is used to detect how much air is leaking from the ductwork.
An infrared camera detects both thermal defects and air leakage. They measure surface temperatures by seeing variations in heat instead of light, expressing warmer areas in warmer colors. With this technology, you can actually see where leaks exist, or insulation is missing, without having to drill holes.
During the process, the lighting in the home is evaluated for energy consumption and other items such as pool pumps and A/C equipment. A report will be given to you showing the improvements that can be made to lower your electricity usage.
The best part, several power companies offer incentives to help pay for the home improvements. Make sure you check with your local utilities for any offers.
Home Energy Audits in Atlanta
Have you used an energy audit to determine how well sealed your home is? If you live in Atlanta and need professional help, contact R.S. Andrews!