A Beginner’s Guide to Home Energy Audits

July 16, 2014

When talking about a home energy audit (also called an energy assessment), we usually associate it with the words efficiency, comfort, and cost-effective in respect to the home. But what exactly does an energy audit entail? Here’s the breakdown of what they do, what the options are, and how much they cost.

First, home energy audits examine your home in the following ways:

  • Where and how energy is being lost in the home
  • Which systems in the home aren’t operating properly
  • Determines the most cost-efficient ways to make the home more comfortable, affordable and energy efficient

There are two types of audits to choose from.

1. Home Energy Survey

This is more of a visual survey of the house, and it doesn’t include a lot of equipment for diagnostic testing. A trained professional goes to your home to assess, in general, the home’s performance.

This includes:

  • Looking at windows, doors, insulation, and ducts
  • Heating, cooling and ventilation (the types you’re using and their ages)
  • Appliances and lighting
  • Any visible moisture, health, and safety issues
  • Any complaints about comfort from the homeowners (for example, your downstairs is cool in the summer, but the upstairs is sweltering) 

A home energy survey professional will also look at your billing history, and make general recommendations in order to make your home more comfortable and cost-efficient. This type of home energy audit takes approximately one hour.

2. General Energy Audit

This type of assessment collects more detailed information about the home, which includes a more in depth look at energy usage and a more comprehensive analysis of energy costs. It includes diagnostic testing equipment (like a blower door test, duct leakage tester, and infrared camera).

These types of tests are done in order to look at:

  • Location and amount of air leaks in the home
  • The amount of leakage in the HVAC ducts
  • Whether the insulation in your home is effective
  • Any potential safety issues

These tests are done by a trained energy auditor, and will include a computer software analysis to help prioritize the needs of the home. This type of energy audit takes 3-4 hours to complete. Energy audits vary in price – from $300 to $800 – depending on the type you get.

Now that you know exactly what an energy audit does, let’s talk about benefits. Evaluating your home’s efficiency helps maintain both comfort and safety. Since you and your family spend the majority of your time at home, it’s important to make sure that your home is both comfortable and safe. Energy audits are also a great long-term investment – you could end up saving a lot of money on high energy bills as a result of a more efficient home. Finally, we can’t ignore the benefits on the environment. Managing your home’s efficiency ensures less energy use and is a great way to be eco-friendly.

If you haven’t already, conduct an energy assessment to find out where you can save the most. An energy assessment will tell you how efficient your home is at maintaining comfortable temperatures, and it will let you know if your home is cost efficient. If you’re interested in having your home assessed with an energy audit, please fill out a short contact form by clicking here. If you are interested in a free estimate or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or click here. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page!

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