What is an Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a thorough examination of your home and all of its energy-using systems to determine current energy efficiency and the best options for making your home more efficient as well as comfortable. A crucial part of the audit checks the safety of any appliances that burn gas or oil to make sure they are venting properly and not allowing dangerous exhaust to inconspicuously enter your home. A typical full-house audit usually takes around 3 hours to perform.
How is the audit performed?
The audit is performed by using a variety of diagnostic tools such as infrared cameras, blower doors, gas leak detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors to analyze the various systems in your home. The data from the audit is then entered into a unique software program created by Dr. Energy Saver. After the data is entered, we are able to show you exactly which upgrades will make the most sense for your home in terms of payback period and comfort benefits.
Role of the Comprehensive Energy Audit
A major value of the Insulwise Energy and Comfort Solutions whole-house energy audit is that we not only analyze your home’s insulation and air infiltration rates, but also your home’s HVAC systems to determine their efficiency and safety.
Furnace Efficiency Checked
Although that furnace in your basement may have faithfully heated your home for the past 20 years, it could in fact be suffering from issues that would make upgrading to a modern, high-efficiency system a smart option. If it was an 80% efficient system when installed, wear and tear to parts like its heat exchanger could easily degrade it to a 60-70% operating efficiency. Our combustion efficiency tests allow us to tell you exactly how well your current system is operating. Often times upgrading to a 95%+ efficiency furnace can make a great deal of sense.
Air Conditioner Efficiency Checked
Your home’s air conditioner is no different. During the past 20 years cooling systems have become far more energy efficient. If your unit was installed in the 1980’s or even the 1990’s, it’s possible you could be running a 10 SEER or less (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) air conditioner. A SEER rating for an air conditioner is similar to an MPG rating for a car. It’s a measurement of how much bang you get for your energy buck, with the higher the SEER rating, the better. With government and utility rebates for upgrading to modern, higher efficiency air conditioners you could easily improve the efficiency of your unit by 30% in most cases.
A critical element of safety in your home is determining if your combustion appliances (furnace or boiler, water heater, gas stove, etc) are properly venting to the outside when they operate, and also if they are running at their stated efficiency. Many times a system will degrade over time and begin producing carbon monoxide as a result of incomplete combustion. As carbon monoxide is lethally dangerous if it enters your home, this is a serious issue. When we perform our energy audit, we test your home’s combustion appliances to confirm two things:
- When they are running, they are properly venting their flue gasses to the outside. For various reasons we often find systems that back draft their flue gasses back into the home, creating a dangerous situation.
- When they are running, that they are not producing excess carbon monoxide, which can endanger the home’s occupants. When systems degrade, their combustion processes become less efficient and higher levels of poisonous carbon monoxide are usually created.
Why is this so Valuable?
A full-house energy audit performed by Insulwise Energy and Comfort Solutions for $99 is an incredible value because it provides you with critical information about all of the systems in your home. Armed with this information, you can decide whether it makes more sense to focus on insulation and air sealing first, have new windows installed, or upgrade your heating and cooling units with high efficiency systems. The last thing you want to do as a homeowner is spend thousands of dollars on upgrades, and then find out that your home is only slightly more comfortable or efficient than it was before. As a homeowner you always want to get the biggest bang for your buck that you can, and that is what our full-house energy audit allows you to do!
After the audit has been performed, you have the option of working with Insulwise Energy and Comfort Solutions to perform your chosen upgrades, or hire your own contractors. Either way, you will have gained invaluable information on your home, and for a great price!