What to Expect When You’re Expecting (an Energy Audit!)
Thinking about getting an energy audit, or have one scheduled, but aren’t sure what to expect?
Not to worry!
We’ve created an inside look of getting an energy audit with a HEAT Squad Energy Auditor.
1. The Auditor Arrives
Our energy audits are typically scheduled at either 9AM or 1PM, and can take up to three hours to complete.
At your scheduled time, your energy auditor will arrive and sit down with you to discuss information about the house.
2. The Kitchen Table Check-In
Here, Rick sits down with Barb, owner of the property, and Ian, her son and tenant, and gets to know a bit about the home.
He asks questions regarding when the house was built and what problems they may be concerned about in the space.
Barb pulls out her energy bills so Rick can get an idea of how much she’s spending on heating.
Tip: If you have an energy audit coming up, be sure to have a year’s worth of energy bills on hand for your auditor!
3. The Host-Guided Tour
After sitting down and discussing the house, Ian and Barb give Rick the grand tour.
He checks out the heating system, large appliances, and windows and gets familiar with where all the different crawlspaces are in the home.
This gives Rick an idea of where problem areas might be—like where all the heat is escaping from!
Next, Rick goes outside and gets measurements of the house, and well as checking out the outdoor oil tank.
Then, after spending some time outside, he comes back indoors. Rick checks for any gas leaks (none were found!) and then got down into those pesky crawlspaces to check out the insulation and construction of the spaces.
5. The Blower-Door Test
After all of this, Rick begins to set up the blower-door test. This test uses a large fan to depressurize the home, pulling air out, and making it apparent where the largest air leaks are and how much air is escaping.
After performing this test, Rick was able to tell that the measured air leakage was 1425 CFM50 air filtration, or the equivalent of having a 1 sq ft hole in the house.
Barb and Ian could put their hands up to the windows, light switches, outlets, and doorways and actually feel all the cold air. It really made an impact!
While the blower-door test was still going on, Rick whipped out his trusty infra-red camera to give a visual of the cold spots in the house where all the hot air was escaping from.
This was noted largely in corners, around windows, and at the crawlspace entries by a dark blue color.
The floor began to feel very cold, so Rick assumed it was likely that the floor/basement area wasn’t properly insulated. And no surprise, after getting down and dirty outside, Rick determined that the floor could definitely use some insulation!
6. The Audit Report & Discussion
Back inside, after packing up the blower-door test materials, Rick sat down at the kitchen table and began working on his audit report.
One of the many benefits of having an energy audit performed by one of HEAT Squad’s auditors is that you will receive a same day report that will be explained to you then and there, immediately after the audit is complete.
The energy audit report includes your energy score, a summary of the current home conditions, prioritized ways to improve your home, and the estimated energy cost savings you will gain from completing improvements.
Your auditor will also be able to connect you to a contractor, since HEAT Squad does not perform any of the improvements for you (thereby remaining an unbiased and reliable third party).
Barb asked Rick to connect her to contractors for bids about installing a heat pump, insulating the attic and basement, and fixing the roof. Within a week, Barb had heard from contractors about each component of the project, and within two weeks, had bids on them.
Says Barb, “I had been trying to get a quote on the roof for the past year, and then Rick calls them up, and here they are!”
Schedule your Energy Audit!
If your home is drafty, cold, or is always running high energy bills, consider getting an energy audit with us!
One of our BPI-certified auditors would be happy to work with you to find out your best improvement options, saving you money and even earning incentives from Efficiency Vermont.
To schedule an energy audit, visit https://heatsquad.org/ or call us at (802) 438-2303.