What is a Home Energy Audit?
A home energy audit, or a home energy assessment, is the first step taken to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible. Through a home energy audit, you can determine how much energy your home uses and learn what you can do to improve the efficiency of your home.
How is a Home Energy Audit Conducted?
During a home energy audit, various parts of your home are inspected to determine where your home is losing the most energy.
Several tests are conducted to determine the efficiency of your home, including:
- A blower door test, which involves affixing a flexible, yet airtight door over the exterior door frames of your home. The blower contains a powerful fan, which removes the indoor air and lowers the pressure inside your home and helps to pinpoint sources of drafts, heat loss and air infiltration.
- A thermography scan, which is used inside your home to measure how well your home is insulated, and how effective that insulation is. For example, this test can pinpoint locations on the walls that are cooler than others, which indicates inadequate or missing insulation.
Home energy audits can either be performed by a professional, or you can conduct the audit yourself.
- Professional Audits: A professional is someone who is certified to perform home energy audits. They are highly trained and use a variety of state-of-the-art tools to determine the efficiency of your home. A professional can also make detailed recommendations to improve the energy efficiency after an audit is complete.
- DIY Audits: With an Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick and your last 12 months of utility bills, you can compare how energy efficient your home is to similar homes throughout the country. You can also receive recommendations to improve the efficiency of your home, though these recommendations may not be as accurate and specific as the recommendations that a professional can provide.
The Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
There are several benefits that can be gained from conducting a home energy audit. Firstly, since you will be able to find out how efficiently your home uses energy, you will be able to make appropriate choices to reduce the amount of energy you use. Less energy consumption = lower utility bills.
Another benefit of a home energy audit is reducing the impact you and your home make on the environment. By making appropriate changes, you can ensure your home is using less energy, which means the generation of less greenhouse gases.
A third benefit of this type of audit is increased comfort in your home. After making the appropriate changes, your home will maintain a comfortable temperature and humidity level.
Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, a home energy audit can save you money, reduce your carbon footprint, and make your home a more comfortable place to be. Keep in mind, if you have a whole house fan or attic fan