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How Home Energy Audits Work

The average American household has a wide range of electronic gadgets and appliances that consume electricity. These include washing machines, computers, TVs, refrigerators, and even mobile devices. In addition, some homes use electricity to power heating and cooling systems. At the end of the day, these electronics, appliances, as well as heating and cooling systems consume a lot of energy. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), space heating gobbles up 41.5% of power use at home. In order to reduce this figure, you should carry out an energy audit.

Importance of Energy Audits

The aim of carrying out these audits is to determine how much energy your home uses. At the same time, you will assess measures that you could implement to improve power efficiency. However, it is important to note that audits alone do not translate into home energy savings. You will have to take concrete steps to lower your monthly power bills. Although you could carry out such an audit yourself, it is wise to hire a professional. Some of the techniques he or she will use during such an audit include:

Infrared Scanning

Infrared scanning or thermography is a technique used to detect air leakages in building envelopes. This technique works by measuring the surface temperature of a building using an infrared video recorder or camera. Variations in the building’s outer skin or envelope range from black (cool regions) to white (for warm regions). Armed with this information, an energy auditor can pinpoint areas responsible for heat loss.

Blower Door Tests

The aim of a blower door test is to determine airtightness in a building. Remember the more warm air you lose, the more power you will have to use to heat your home. The way this test works is simple. An energy auditor mounts a blower into an exterior doorframe to draw air from inside a house. This action creates low air pressure indoors. Nature now takes over as air from outdoors flows indoors via cracks and openings. The auditor carrying out the test will then be able to measure the whole home performance in terms of rate of air infiltration.

Checking the Insulation

The insulation in your home could allow cold air from outdoors to flow indoors and vice versa. An auditor will have to undertake a thorough check to find out areas where vapor barriers might have broken down.

Overall, a home energy efficiency audit is not a waste of money and time. This is because it can help you to reduce your power bills by up to 15%, according to the Energy Department. Strategies used by energy auditors to achieve this goal include blower door tests and thermography.

FAQs

My house is drafty. Do I need
new windows and doors?

When a house is drafty, the first things that many people think about are doors and windows. In fact, there are a handful of home energy upgrades that are much more cost-effective and beneficial than windows and doors (which can cost an arm and a leg but may not do…

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My house is cold. Do I need a larger furnace?

There are many causes for a house being uncomfortably cold in the winter, and there are at least as many solutions. Typically, a cold house is a drafty house with significant air leakage and insufficient insulation. Sometimes it can be caused by a leaky duct system or a poorly performing…

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Is all insulation created equal?

No! Not all insulation is equal. In fact, the insulation in many North American homes today was either improperly installed, or has settled over time, or has been compromised by air leakage. In many cases, existing insulation in homes performs so poorly that the house remains uncomfortable and energy bills…

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Is it possible to manage my home’s energy consumption from a smartphone?

Breakthrough technology over the last few years has made it possible to monitor and manage your home or building's energy consumption via WiFi, allowing you to view your home's energy use in real time and even turn devices on and off. It is even possible to manage energy use using…

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The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed.
It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.