A GreenHomes America Comprehensive Home Energy Audit: Actionable and Accurate
Done correctly, you determine the most cost effective way to solve the comfort and energy issues in your home.
From dramatically reducing your utility bills to ensuring your home is healthy and safe, a GreenHomes Comprehensive Home Energy Audit will reveal the smarter way to prioritize your home energy upgrades. Lots of contractors are offering them, however, it's important to get a comprehensive audit that is accurate and actionable.
To be accurate, the audit needs to include a thorough inspection and a range of diagnostics tests. To be actionable, solutions need to be recommended and easily understood by you and any installation contractor you might hire to complete them.
A simple “clipboard audit” or home energy rating won’t cover both of these for you, so make sure you get what you need. And don’t waste your money on what you don’t!
During a Comprehensive Home Energy Audit, a (certified & trained) Home Performance advisor should conduct a variety of tests customized for your home, including:
- Utility Bill Analysis — to determine usage patterns and look for ways to reduce looking at your electric and gas (or oil or propane) consumption
- Blower Door Test — to measure and locate all the sources of air leaks in your home
- Infrared Scan — to identify hidden defects including insulation gaps, air leakage, duct leakage, and moisture issues
- Visual Inspection — to find evidence of problems affecting the durability of your house
- Insulation Inspection — to determine insulation levels in various areas of your home’s shell
- Attic Inspection — to identify evidence of maintenance problems, verify insulation, check for moisture damage to roof from attic side.
- Furnace, Boiler, Air-Conditioner, Heat Pump, and Hot Water Equipment Inspection — to examine the overall condition of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment.
This includes several of the following tests:
- Carbon Monoxide Tests — to measure carbon monoxide levels in the flue gases of your heating appliances and in the air of your house to ensure safety
- Combustion Draft Tests — to ensure that your combustion appliances are venting properly and that combustion gases are not being dumped into or pulled back into your house
- Combustion Efficiency Test — to measure the efficiency of your heating system
- Flue Pipe Exhaust Inspection — to examine your combustion equipment flue pipes for blockages, disconnects, or other unsafe conditions
- Duct Air Flow Test — to determine the amount of air moving through your duct system (available in certain regions).
- Duct Leakage Test — to measure the leakiness of your duct system (in some areas, as much as 30% of the conditioned air moving through ducts leaks directly outside!)
- Visual Inspection for Mold and Moisture Sources — to look for areas where there is evidence of mold or high humidity.
- Visual Inspection for Indoor Air Quality Indicators — to look for evidence of potential sources of indoor air pollution
- Exhaust Fan Inspection — to measure whether fans are moving enough air to properly ventilate your home, and should include an inspection of the exhaust fan ductwork to ensure proper venting
- Clothes Dryer Venting Inspection — to ensure dryers are vented properly to avoid moisture and combustion safety problems
- Lighting Upgrade Inspection — to identify opportunities to replace incandescent lighting with more efficient fluorescent and LED bulbs and fixtures that use less energy and last longer
- Appliance Inspection — to look for opportunities to save money and improve performance
- Pool and Well Pump Analysis — to check pumps for sizing and efficiency and look for opportunities to reduce pumping costs
In most homes, the audit procedure should take about two hours and create minimal disruption to your regular household routine.
A comprehensive home energy audit should also include a full “test out” conducted after all the improvements are installed. This will ensure the best results and ensure the safety of your home.