Home Energy Audit–Make Sure It’s Accurate and Actionable

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Thought for the day is again about “Home Energy Audits”.  You’ll see a lot of people hawking these.  And rightly so.  A home energy audit, done right, help you focus on the real things likely to save you energy. (Hint: most of the time it is NOT new windows!)

Regarding the audit it’s important to get the right audit–accurate and actionable.

To be accurate, the audit needs to include a good inspection and a range of diagnostics including combustion safety, infiltration (using a blower door), duct leakage testing, and an infrared scan.  If the person conducting the audit is making cost-effectiveness recommendations, then they need to have a firm understanding of local installation costs by a quality contractor—if they don’t know these exact prices they can’t talk about cost effectiveness!

To be actionable, any recommendations for improvement need to be easily understood by you and easily communicated to an installation contractor who can fully execute the recommendations.  For example, if the recommendations are for attic air-sealing and insulation (you shouldn’t do the insulation without the air-sealing), the person doing the work needs to understand exactly what needs to be done and be able to deliver (assuming the recommendations are accurate—see above!).  

A simple “clipboard audit” or home energy rating won’t cover both of these for you, so make sure you get what you need!  And don’t waste your money on what you don’t!

For a bit more background and additional links, see my earlier posts, our website, or a video description.

Thanks,
Mike

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8 Responses to “Home Energy Audit–Make Sure It’s Accurate and Actionable”

  1. Home Improvement Says:

    informative, thanks for share 😀

  2. Ten Tips for Keeping Cool « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] really find the trouble spots in your home, and to be sure that they’re addressed properly, get a comprehensive home assessment like those recommended in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.  GreenHomes America can […]

  3. Recessed Lighting & Air-Sealing « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] In fact, insulation that’s dirty on the bottom is one of the clues we look for during a home energy audit.   Leaks like this represents a lot of heat loss in the winter, and depending on wind or duct […]

  4. Checking out how GreenHomes does it « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] We often get visitors from DC or around the country coming to see how we do things from our comprehensive home assessments to our installations.  Last week Rebecca came up to take it in.  Of course, to really understand, […]

  5. A simple look at energy savings possibilities « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] detailed and recommendations or predictions about your home specifically.  (That’s what a home assessment is for.)  But in broad-brush terms, it can give you an idea of the areas to focus on and see how […]

  6. Home Energy Audit Video « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] mentioned home energy audits here before.  We’ve just re-posted a short video that quickly walks through the process and […]

  7. water tanks Melbourne Says:

    So true! Great post. In Australia the energy audits are often very informative when telling you what could be done but terrible at letting you know how to action these ideas, who to go to and what savings can be made. Best to trust such things to the experts.

  8. Disability Access Consultants Says:

    Informative Post. A good home audit takes into account all the energy usage in your home, including hidden energy wasters, as well as sources of energy loss

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