What's an Energy Audit?
An energy audit, or home energy assessment, is a walkthrough conducted by an energy professional to help you determine where you are using and losing energy in your home. 🏡
An energy audit is a crucial first step if you are intending to make any energy efficiency upgrades in your home. The information you gain from a professional assessment can help you make better decisions about which projects you invest in and the order in which you tackle them, ensuring that you get the most bang for your buck on your quest for a more sustainable and comfortable home. 💪
How To Get an Energy Audit
Start with your utility company. Many utility companies offer their customers inexpensive or even free home energy audits, or else have recommendations for local contractors who are certified to provide energy assessment services. 🙌
Your city or state energy agency may also be able to connect you with a reliable local energy expert who can offer you a cost effective audit.
Alternatively, you can check out this list of certified assessors compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy as a part of their Home Energy Score program, intended to help homeowners better understand their energy uses and finances.
Or this list made by the Residential Energy Services Network, a not-for-profit seeking to help homeowners improve their energy efficiency by defining industry standards and designing comprehensive certification programs for home energy assessors.
As always, do your homework: make sure the assessor you ultimately invite into your home has good reviews and the proper qualifications. 😤
Note: you can do a DIY energy audit — it probably won’t be as thorough, but it’ll informative all the same. Find out how to do your own home energy assessment.
What To Expect During an Energy Audit
Your energy assessor will most likely want to start by checking out your utility bills and just chatting with you about your home and it’s energy use. This will help give them an idea of where to start and what to look for. 👀
Next, they will probably want take a tour of the exterior and the interior of your home, keeping an eye out for any obvious places where air may be entering or escaping your house. 🌬️
They will have a list of common trouble spots where they’ll want to spend a little more time poking around, like the attic, the basement, near windows and doors, and so on. They’ll be especially interested in making sure your ductwork is airtight and your insulation is up to scratch.
After that, they may move on to your most energy-intensive appliances. They’ll have a couple tools and some tricks up their sleeve to help them figure out if any one appliance is using more energy than it should be. 🔌
Finally, they’ll perform a blower door test. The creatively named “blower door test” is when the assessor closes all of your home’s exterior windows and doors and fits the front one with an industrial fan to blow air out of your home.
This process depressurizes your home, which causes air to be sucked in through all of the invisible cracks and crevices that might have been missed during the initial inspection. The assessor will be able to locate these cracks with an infrared thermometer. 🌡️
Finally, the auditor will provide you with all of the energy intel gathered during the assessment, and give you tailored recommendations to decrease your energy use and improve your home’s efficiency.
After an Energy Audit
After your home energy assessment, you will have actionable advice and a practical path forward toward creating a more energy efficient home. ✅
You may learn that you need to invest in better insulation, or spend some time on air sealing. You may learn that your water heater is the wrong size for your home or that your roof won’t be able to support the number of solar panels needed to meet your energy requirements.
Ultimately, following the advice of your energy assessor can save you between 5% and 30% on future energy bills. So take advantage of the information you get!
Use our handy rebate calculator to figure out how to save some $$ on your energy audit. Good luck! 🍀