17 Jan What Does an Energy Audit Include?
The term energy audit means a lot of things to various people throughout the energy efficiency industry across the country. For example, many free or walk-through audits provide a visual inspection of the home. However, walk-through audits rarely include diagnostic testing. Furthermore, homeowner recommendations are based on the visual information collected by the auditor.
Conversely, many people understand an energy audit is a comprehensive analysis of the home. As a result, a comprehensive audit pinpoints sources of high energy consumption and comfort issues. Plus, a thorough audit highlights things, such as air leaks, insufficient insulation, moisture issues, defective ducts, gas leaks, ventilation, inefficient lighting and appliances.
What does a high quality energy audit include?
A high-quality home energy audit includes a detailed analysis of your home’s main energy. Additionally, in a quality energy audit, the homeowner gains a prioritized list of recommendations. As a result, the recommendations resolve the homeowner’s energy efficiency or comfort concerns. Plus, an audit identifies and eliminates health and safety problems. The main energy features of the home to be evaluated during the energy audit include:
- Attic Spaces
- Cathedral Ceilings
- Exterior Walls
- Crawl Spaces
- Concrete Slabs
- Foundation Walls
- Attached Garages
- Heating Systems
- Cooling Systems
- Domestic Hot Water Systems
- Lighting Systems
- Major Appliances
- Exhaust Fans
- Mechanical Ventilation Systems
- Renewable Energy Systems
High Quality Home Energy Audits Include In-Home Testing
In addition, most detailed energy audits also include some level of field testing. Field testing during energy audits include some, or all, of the following:
- Blower door testing of the home (to test the home’s air tightness)
- Ambient CO Testing (to test the air in the home for Carbon Monoxide levels)
- Gas Leak Testing (to test natural and propane gas piping for leaks)
- Worst Case Depressurization Testing (to test for proper chimney operation)
- Spillage Testing (to test for proper chimney operation)
- Heating Appliance CO Testing (to test appliances for normal operation)
- Oven Testing (to test ovens and stovetops for normal operation)
- Duct Blaster Testing (to test ducts for air leaks)
- Pressure Diagnostic Testing (testing for pressure variations in the home)
Ultimately, a quality energy audit yields results. Depending on the energy audit’s findings you will receive various recommendations. For example, the results aim to achieve increased energy savings, improved comfort, remediation of health/safety problems and installation of renewable technologies. Additionally, in all recommendations derived from the home energy audit are prioritized and unbiased. Finally, the energy auditor and the homeowner work together to determine a project scope. As a result of a quality audit, the homeowner receives prioritized projects that require implementation that ensures improved home energy performance.