Preparing For A Home Energy Audit
Home energy audits are sometimes referred to as "home energy checkups" or "home energy assessments." But it's the "audit" label that makes some people anxious. Not to worry. Unlike a tax audit, a home energy audit is an important first step in improving your home's comfort and energy performance.
A complete home energy audit performed by Dr. Energy Saver will identify all the ways that a house uses and loses energy. This comprehensive audit will also recommend the upgrades and repairs that can turn an uncomfortable, energy-wasting house into a comfortable dwelling that's more affordable to own.
Each house has a unique energy profile that's determined by various factors --construction details, insulation levels, appliances and the habits and preferences of family members, just for starters. To help out the energy analyst performing the audit, it's smart to do a few things before he or she arrives. Here's what you can do to prep for a home energy audit:
- Collect your energy bills. Your electric utility can provide a month-by-month record that shows electricity use and cost. If you have a contract with a gas, propane or fuel oil supplier, gather these expenses as well. If you don't have a contract, simply collect the receipts for fuel expenses.
- Take note of comfort problems. Are there parts of the house where you feel cold drafts during the winter? Are some rooms too hot or too cold at different times of the year? Does your heating and/or air conditioning system run all the time, or cycle on and off frequently? Do family members suffer from itchy, irritated eyes or frequent colds? This information can be useful to an energy auditor who is assessing your home.
- Get ready for the blower door. Performing a blower door test will enable technicians to measure your home's air leakage and pinpoint leak locations so that they can be sealed to improve energy performance. To prepare for this test, close all windows and exterior doors, but open all interior doors. Make sure the attic hatch or attic door is closed. Clean ashes out of the fireplace, wood stove or pellet stove. Shut fireplace dampers and wood and pellet stove air intakes.