Understanding The Home Energy Efficiency Audit: An Essential Guide

A home energy efficiency audit, also known as an energy assessment, is a comprehensive evaluation of your home's energy use and potential areas of energy waste. This procedure helps homeowners identify opportunities for energy savings, leading to lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint. Keep reading to learn more about an energy efficiency audit, the process, benefits, and considerations of this audit.

What is a Home Energy Efficiency Audit?

A home energy audit involves a series of tests and inspections to evaluate how your home uses energy. It identifies areas of energy loss, inefficient systems, and opportunities for improvement. This could include inadequate insulation, air leaks, inefficient heating or cooling systems, or outdated appliances. The goal is to find ways to make your home more energy-efficient, comfortable, and cost-effective.

The Audit Process

The energy audit process typically includes the following steps:

  • Preliminary Assessment: This includes a review of past utility bills and a discussion about specific energy concerns, like a room that's always too cold or hot.
  • Walkthrough: The auditor conducts a thorough walkthrough of the home, examining key areas like the attic, basement, and exterior for potential energy loss.
  • Blower Door Test: This test measures air leakage in the home. A powerful fan mounted on an exterior door lowers the air pressure inside, allowing the auditor to identify leaks.
  • Thermal Imaging: Using an infrared camera, the auditor can see where heat is escaping from your home, indicating areas of poor insulation.
  • Detailed Report: Following the audit, you will receive a detailed report highlighting the auditor's findings and recommended improvements.

Benefits of an Energy Audit

There are many benefits of a home energy efficiency audit including::

  • Energy Savings: By identifying and addressing energy inefficiencies, you can significantly reduce your home's energy usage, resulting in lower utility bills.
  • Improved Comfort: Energy efficient homes maintain a more consistent indoor temperature, increasing comfort levels.
  • Environmental Impact: Reducing energy usage not only saves money but also reduces your home's carbon footprint, contributing to environmental sustainability.
  • Increased Home Value: Energy efficient homes often command higher resale prices, making the energy audit and subsequent improvements a wise investment.

Choosing an Energy Auditor

When selecting an energy auditor, look for certified professionals who have a track record of expertise in the field. The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the Building Performance Institute (BPI) offer certifications that ensure auditors meet specific professional standards.

By understanding how energy is used and wasted in your home, you can make informed decisions about improvements, creating a more comfortable, energy-efficient living environment.