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!