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Driving Energy Efficiency
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What is a Whole House Energy Assessment?

Infrared Energy Audit

This is where the Home Energy Efficiency Story Begins!

An Energy Assessment is the first step to understanding your home or office building’s power usage, air flow, HVAC equipment efficiency, and overall level of health and functioning of the interrelated energy systems. Using a combination of high tech tests and evaluations, a good auditor provides building owners with a list of energy and money saving steps. An auditor explains how and why your building is costing you money, and then prioritizes the steps to knock down those costs and increase your comfort.  

The Basics of the Amazing and Enlightening Energy Assessment!

 

 

A typical audit is comprised of several important parts:

(1) Energy Consumption: By reviewing a year’s worth of your electricity and gas bills, an auditor will be able to identify what you are spending on your everyday energy needs and where – how much is being spent on heating or cooling as opposed to plug loads, for example. We call this an energy bill disaggregation.

(2) Building Envelope Air Leakage and Infiltration: Your heating and air-conditioning systems work to keep your house at a different temperature than the world outside. Any time air is unintentionally leaking between your house and the outside world your HVAC system has to work harder and use more energy to mitigate that leak. Not all air exchange is bad. Your house needs to be drawing in fresh outside air. The Auditor’s job is to make sure it’s drawing in that air from proper places, in just the right amounts, and in ways that don’t negatively affect the efficiency of your heating and air-conditioning system.

(3) Insulation Performance: Proper, effective insulation is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Auditors use a combination of visual inspections and advanced thermal imaging equipment to assess your home insulation’s effectiveness, identify trouble spots and make specific recommendations.

(4) Heating & Cooling Performance: Your Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system can in some cases consume more energy than the rest of your house’s energy needs combined. A detailed HVAC system analysis includes:

  • Overall System BTU requirements - measures your system’s performance compared to recommended energy efficient system performance.
  • Static Pressure - can impact the amount of energy needed to push and pull air through your duct system. Measuring your system’s static pressure, then comparing it to what your system manufacturer recommends identifies inefficiencies.
  • Airflow - measurements can indicate obstructions or a poor system design that forces your system to work harder than necessary and will reduce the lifespan of your system.
  • Duct Leakage and Insulation - excessive amounts of duct leakage, and poorly installed duct insulation can contribute to huge inefficiencies in the system.
  • Distribution System Performance - determines the effectiveness of your HVAC distribution system design. Measuring air velocity and volume in every room determines whether your system is delivering optimal comfort throughout your home.
  • Air Quality Assessment – is an important consideration when determining how much make-up air is coming from the attic or basement.

(5) Lighting System: analysis can uncover tremendous opportunities for energy savings with exciting new lighting technologies now available.

(6) Phantom Loads: can drain your pocket book even when appliances are turned off or on stand-by.

(7) Appliances: can use a significant amount of energy. Auditing appliance energy usage can reveal many helpful suggestions for saving energy.

(8) Water Heaters: many homes are using either old, inefficient water heaters, or water heaters that are incorrectly sized for their home.

(9) Carbon Monoxide Measurements: detect unsafe levels of CO. Before any work in done to a home, Carbon Monoxide testing (a.k.a. Combustion Safety Testing) must be added to our typical energy audit for an additional fee.

(10) Renewable Energy Potential: There’s nothing greener than making your own energy out of sunlight or wind, but not every home site is suited for solar or wind power. Auditors can assess your property’s potential and give you a realistic picture of the benefits you could expect from various sources of renewable energy.

(11) Homeowner Behavior: Often, simply changing your behavior can reduce your energy usage by as much as 20%. Auditors can identify wasteful behaviors and help you find easy-to-implement solutions.

The Audit Report

Energy Audit ReportThe result of an energy assessment is a detailed report including a prioritization of efficiency improvement options. Homeowners can use that information however and whenever they choose, to approach energy retrofitting as cost-effectively as possible. It doesn't need to be expensive, and acting on the results of an assessment can result tremendous savings on energy bills and a dramatic increase in comfort. 

To get an Energy Assessment on your home or office building, sign up now!