What Is a Home Energy Audit?

October 17, 2014
niki dube

home energyThe term audit may cause your pulse to race, your palms to sweat and your hair to stand on end. Take a deep breath and relax, because a home energy audit has nothing to do with the IRS or an accountant. It’s about saving energy that, in turn, saves you money!

An energy audit is a way to see if and where you’re wasting energy. For example, if your DC home is drafty in the winter, an energy audit could tell you why and point to specific areas that need your attention.

How does it work?

Here’s how it works: An energy auditor uses two primary tools to determine where energy loss occurs: a thermographic scan and a blower door test.

A thermographic scan measures surface temperatures of the exterior of your home using an infrared camera to determine if there is radiant heat escaping. The energy auditor sees a color-coded image that pinpoints places where you may need to add insulation.

The blower door test uses a large fan to suck air out of your home and lower the interior air pressure. The difference between interior air pressure and exterior air pressure enables the auditor to use an instrument like a smoke pencil to find air leaks in your home.

The auditor will likely examine your insulation and appliances as well, to see if they are up to current Energy Saver standards. Older DC houses may have less efficient furnaces, water heaters or other appliances that drain valuable energy.

How does a home energy audit benefit you?electric meter

The simplest answer to the question is that it can potentially save you money on your energy bill. By taking the results of the energy audit and making the necessary adjustments, the energy you use to heat and cool your home will not be wasted heating and cooling areas you and your family never use, like the attic or garage. The tests the auditor performs reveal exactly where you need to take action and often how.

Air leaks around your windows mean you need to add weather stripping or caulking. Radiant heat escaping through the panes of your windows indicates you may need to replace the older windows with more energy efficient models.

If the thermographic scan shows radiant heat escaping through a specific wall or wall joint, it may indicate you need to add some insulation in that location to keep the conditioned air indoors.

Who performs home energy audits?

To find a professional energy auditor, you can check with state or local government, your energy company or a HVAC professional.

For assistance addressing the results of the audit, especially in regards to insulation, give us a call here at Max Insulation.

Want to live more comfortably and save money? Contact Max for a free consultation and estimate. Call or email today — Max@maxinsulation.us or (202) 750-2180. Ask for Max.