Home Energy Audits


As we head into winter still faced with high energy prices—higher than last year—you’ll probably hear a lot about home energy audits.   Energy audits can give you useful information, but only if they’re done by a skilled technician with the proper training and equipment. 


Testing air-leakage with a Blower Door

Testing air-leakage with a Blower Door

But what does a good energy audit involve?  The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that a professional audit should look at the house outside and in, room by room.  The auditor should use at least a blower door and an infrared camera to find and measure deficiencies.   These tools can find air leaks; gaps in, missing, or poorly installed insulation; problems with duct work and around windows; and other problems.  The audit should include an inspection of combustion equipment like furnaces and water heaters, and testing to ensure that they are operating safely and efficiently.  Auditors should be trained in all home energy-related services (heating and air conditioning, lighting, insulation, ducts, ventilation, and more) and understand the principles of building science, the dynamics of air flow, and how household equipment and appliances interact with each other and with your home’s construction.

To find someone who can thoroughly inspect, test, safety-check, and evaluate all the components of your home, at a minimum look for auditors who are certified and accredited by the Building Performance Institute.

You should absolutely get a thorough audit before your make any major improvement to your home.  You wouldn’t want a doctor to operate on you before giving you a physical examination, right?  That chest pain may be heartburn or it may be more serious.  But to get the right treatment first you have to diagnosis the right problem.


Many homeowners call contractors to treat symptoms only. If there’s a draft, you may call a window contractor to replace the windows. If it’s too cold in the winter you may call the heating guy to put in a bigger furnace. While most contractors can provide a quick fix and temporary relief, they rarely look at the bigger picture and address the true causes your house’s problems. This can be frustrating and expensive, especially if the same issues continue to plague your house and your family’s well-being.  At GreenHomes, we treat your house like a completely integrated system using the audit to pinpoint the problem and target the solution to your home and your family’s need.  We know it is more than just the sum of its individual components. If one part is performing poorly or out of balance, it can compromise the efficiency of the entire house and cause serious and ongoing comfort and energy problems.
Testing the safety and efficiency of your combustion equipment is critical

Testing the safety and efficiency of your combustion equipment is critical

It’s the same with contractors and improvements to your home.  You shouldn’t let a contractor work on your house until they conduct a thorough inspection.  When you call GreenHomes, a highly-trained certified advisor shows up, armed with the latest home performance technology and diagnostic tools, including a blower door, infrared camera, combustion analyzers, and more. The Advisor will conduct a comprehensive home comfort and energy assessment and analyze the data collected to determine the existing condition and the best path to improvement and savings. 


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3 Responses to “Home Energy Audits”

  1. Lisa Cohn, Elisa Wood Says:

    Very comprehensive post!

  2. Michelle Smith Says:

    Thanks for the comment on our post! This is a great, in-depth look at home energy audits.

  3. Home Energy Audits « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] Information on what to ask for and expect with a home energy audit. […]

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