Energy Audit - Why you may need one

Retrotec blower door

Getting an energy audit done on your property is the first step towards understanding WHERE and HOW MUCH money you can save on energy bills. Most property owners think they have an understanding of where they are wasting energy, but until they receive the evidence from an energy audit it will be difficult to pinpoint those issues. Why? Because energy inefficiencies hardly ever stem from one issue, they stem from multiple issues that affect each other and work together making matters worse – so the only real way to get the most bang for your buck from Weatherization Solutions is to have and energy audit performed that will give you finite solutions to remedy your homes issues.

A proper energy audit should utilize at least 3 sets of equipment: a blower door with manometer, an infrared camera and a combustion analyzer. This equipment, when utilized correctly, can aid in producing information that showcases visual and quantitative information pertaining to your property’s energy loss.

Shown here is a Retrotec Blower Door. Its function is to depressurize a structure to a standardized measurement that will allow the Energy Auditor the ability to calculate how many Air Changes per Hour are occurring, the overall hole (gaps, cracks, & holes) within the structure, and give information pertaining to how much the structure can be air sealed before the air becomes unhealthy or stale. When used with an infrared camera, you can actually see energy loss due to air leakage: i.e. attics, recessed lighting, windows, and basements. When contacting an auditor, be certain to ask if they use a blower door. 

An infrared camera is another piece of equipment that needs to be used when having an energy audit performed on your structure. Infrared camera’s show surface area temperatures, and when used for an energy audit they can show: insulation voids, poorly installed insulation, air leakage and its affect on insulation, surface area heat loss due to no insulation (foundation walls & attics…), air leakage at the sill plate, energy loss from electrical/plumbing/chimney chases and holes, and so on…

Lastly, a combustion analyzer and manometer will inform the auditor of the burning efficiency of the heating system, any spillage of flue gasses into the home, the level of CO the heating system is producing, the burning temperature of the flue gasses and the draft within the flue (to make sure gasses are vented properly).

How will this information help?? A good energy auditor will compile all the information and produce a report showing trouble spots via the thermal images and a quantitative report showing (at the very least) how much fuel you are wasting due to energy inefficiencies, how much $$ you can save on fuel with weatherization improvements, and the Building Tightness Limit for air sealing the house in conjunction with ASHRAE standards (Minimum Ventilation Guidelines to have balanced indoor air quality).

What are the overall benefits of an Energy Audit and proper Weatherization (air sealing and insulation)? Reduced Annual Energy Bills, Increased Seasonal Comfort within structure, Peace of Mind from knowing you've done your part to lower your Local Communities Carbon Footprint!

Did you know almost every New England home can save AT LEAST 20% on fuel bills from focused Weatherization Improvements?!