Home Energy Audits: Have You Had One?

| 12/3/2010 12:01:11 PM

Tags: energy audit, energy efficiency, question to readers,

Door Blower TestWhen it comes to making your home operate as efficiently as possible, a home energy audit can help you figure out what improvements to make, big and small. Home energy audits can be a helpful tool for lowering your heating and cooling bills, reducing your carbon footprint and making your house more comfortable.

Check out, Energy Audits: What Homeowners Need to Know, to learn all about who should have an audit done, the different types of audits, and what to do with your results. After you learn more about home energy audits, How Energy Efficient is Your Home? can help you find a auditor in your area.

If you have had a home energy audit done, why did you decide to get one? What did you learn about your home? If you haven’t had one, why did you decide not to? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below!

Above: A blower door test measures air infiltration during an energy audit. Photo by DOE/NREL/Ed Hancock. 

david arthur
1/9/2011 11:32:24 PM

A true professional energy audit will give a homeowner so much more than just the basic air leakage data that so many tend to focus on. One of the most important aspects that can be discovered is the number of air exchanges that are or amount of fresh air that is being brought into a home. It is possible to have a home that is too tight. A home with inadequate ventilation will have moisture problems, be less comfortable, and may have unhealthy levels of a number of different pollutants. Even more frightening, a home that is too tight may cause combustion appliances to backdraft pollutants, including deadly carbon monoxide, into the living space. A professional energy auditor will be able to give you pointers on improving your energy efficiency and using your energy upgrade money in the most efficient manner. They can also help you keep your family safe. Here is a video from the DOE on what to expect in a complete energy audit (also sometimes called a green home inspection). http://www.greenhomesconsultant.com/green-home-inspection.html David Arthur, LEED-AP, BPI Building Analyst, AEE Certified Energy Auditor

anne maertens
12/30/2010 1:43:07 PM

If you're thinking about getting an energy audit for your home, you can check out EnergySavvy.com's free online energy audit tool (http://www.energysavvy.com/estimate/) to give you an idea of what an auditor might suggest in your home. The online audit, which only takes a few minutes, will also give you an estimate of how much money you can save by making the suggested improvements.

12/14/2010 4:20:31 PM

We had a blower door test done on our 100 yo farmhouse here in the Ozarks. The biggest revelation was the huge amount of infiltration around the doorway frame and casing on the interior walls. Old houses are framed with wall studs that go from the foundation all the way to the roof (balloon framing) and there is nothing to stop the unconditioned crawl-space/attic air from blowing right in - or the conditioned air from blowing out. I knew that, but for whatever reason just didn't consider how big a factor it was.

12/11/2010 4:55:53 PM

We had an energy assessment done at our previous home and managed to get it up to 84%. We then did one at our new home and are in the process of doing the upgrades: geothermal heating/A/C, caulking, new windows and doors and spray foaming everywhere...we are hoping to get to at least 84%....it is disappointing that the goverment cut the rebate by 50% though, as it was more of an incentive to get it done with larger grants. If you are thinking of doing renovations, then using this program gives you some money back for reno's you were already going to do.

james hoffman
12/10/2010 10:03:08 AM

I had three blower door tests (BDT) and one two audits done on a 3,000sf/31,000cf home I just constructed. The first was BDT done before sheet rock. The leakage rate was 725 CFM @50 Pascals. We used a smoke generator to find leaks, which we sealed. The second test was after drywall and was 423CFM. We thought that was good enough to apply for our Energy Star and Net Zero Ratings and the Colorado Governor's Energy Office credits. (The house received both ratings and is rated -5 on the Net Zero certification.) During this BDT I found that there were some minor, but noticeable, leaks around exterior outlets, so I installed foam gaskets on all of the exterior outlets. Then, in a surprise move, my auditor was audited! His rater did another BDT. Result: 175CFM! This translates to .33 air changes per hour. Therefore, we use an energy recovery ventilator to maintain air quality in the home. Now, not everyone is going to get to a number like this, but one can cut the leakage by half or more through an energy audit! Many states and utilities offer rebates or discounts for this testing, so do it!

tim gmail
12/3/2010 4:09:07 PM

I have not had one but will get one done now.

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