What is an Energy Audit?

An energy audit could possibly be one of the best inexpensive techniques for homeowners who want to lower their energy cost and improve environmental performance.

In order to achieve pleasant temperatures in the house we need energy. If a house is inefficient, however, much energy goes to waste. A house can be inefficient due to air leaks, improper insulation (insulation made from inferior materi­als, poorly installed insulation and eroded insulation) or inefficient technologies.  A study by the US department of energy found that 40 percent of energy homeowners pay for is wasted. An energy audit could possibly be one of the best inexpensive techniques for homeowners who want to lower their energy cost and improve environmental performance.

A home energy audit is described as an assessment of energy flows in a house. The goal of the audit is twofold: to reduce energy losses and to save money to homeowners.

An energy audit will clarify which energy systems are working inadequately (and therefore wasting energy) and list improvements that can be performed in an effort to decrease energy costs and improve energy efficiency.

An energy audit procedure is very simple with three distinguished steps:

1. Collecting information about the house

2. Performing tests

3. Assessing data

During the course of an energy audit, a professional energy auditor (also known as rater) will assess energy efficiency of the house. She/he will normally use tools that include infrared cameras and blower doors.

An energy auditor is an energy efficiency professional. A home energy audit may be performed by energy auditors/consultants with different titles such as building analyst, home performance contractor, home energy rater and energy inspector. She/he might be employed by utility companies or be self-employed. Energy auditors assess a home for efficiency, health & safety in order to identify fields for improvement. To identify avenues for increased energy efficiency (and consequent money savings for homeowners), safety and comfort of the building, energy auditors will collect data, perform tests and use an auditing software. Generally, energy auditors will produce a report with findings and recommendations.

The blower-door test (BDT) is a regular part of an energy audit assessment. To perform this test, energy auditors open doors inside the house while closing all windows. They put a fan on one outside door that is not closed. They isolate the rest of the doorway with a fabric that is impermeable to air. The fan is turned on, blowing the air out of the house. This lowers the internal air pressure. When the air pressure in the house is lower than the outside (and the air goes from high to low pressures) air leaks become evident. Energy auditors use this imbalance to find air leakage. Credit: Tõnu Mauring

During the first step, an energy auditor will record energy use (she/he will look at homeowner’s energy bills), perform a visual examination, gather information about appliances, collect electrical base load data, collect house building measurements, safety & health statistics, mechanical ventilation figures, evaluate house insulation and gather attic, wall, window, door, foundation & roof records.

During the second step, an energy auditor will carry out important tests of indoor air quality, execute combustion safety & efficiency analysis, assess the appliances, do HVAC distribution analysis and blower-door tests (BDT).

During the third step, energy auditors will evaluate the health & safety inside home/building, the durability/structural integrity, assess the HVAC system, assess energy use base loads, assess the foundation, walls, attic, doors & windows. The auditor will finally enter the data into the auditing software.

An energy auditor will eventually produce a report and recommend to clients on how to increase energy efficiency of the house and save money on their energy bill.

Notably, home energy audits concentrate at improving homeowner/inhabitant well-being, safety and general level of comfort. The increased energy efficiency will make a house a more pleasing place to be. Importantly, an energy audit can disclose structural and safety issues well before they produce considerable damage. For example, spaces with faulty ventilation can grow mold and cause negative health effects. Moreover, such areas can require costly restoration. An energy audit can prevent these problems.

Learn More

Energy Audit Training Online

How to Become An Energy Auditor

Stay Cool and Reduce Your Energy Bills This Summer

 

 


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Comments

  1. Very informative. Thanks.

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