What Is An Energy Audit?

thermal imaging of a half isolated apartment buildingEnergy audits are used to help people save energy in their homes and offices by identifying potential leaks & reducing overall energy consumption. In a time when energy prices are rising rapidly, an energy audit can save a homeowner hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually and help businesses keep operating costs down to minimal levels. Even though most energy audits are conducted on private homes, businesses are also very likely to find significant savings.

Even if you recently purchased a new construction home you should consider getting an energy audit. Many builders cut corners to save cost and sometimes energy savings features like high R value insulation are not correctly installed. Also, every structure “settles” and in doing so can compromise the seals in your home, especially around your windows and doors. You may not notice that energy is escaping but you’ll see it on your energy bill. Walls, floors, windows, skylights, doors and even ceilings can let hot or cool air escape. If you have an older home you almost certainly need an energy audit as building codes and practices were quite different years ago from what they are today.

How do I prepare for an Energy Audit?

When you schedule an energy audit there are a few things you should do before the auditor comes to your house:

General Energy Audit Tips

1. Make a list of any problems that you know of such as drafty rooms or condensation on your inside windows.

2. Gather your energy bills from the past year to help the auditor get an idea of how much you pay. This is your benchmark to show how much you can improve your energy efficiency.

3. Clear away any barriers outside the premise like garbage cans, ladders, etc. so that the inspector has safe access to the perimeter around your home or business.

Residential / Home Energy Audit Tips

Let the inspector know whether anyone is home during the work day to use energy, how many people live there, if you use every room daily and what the thermostat setting usually is depending on the season.

Commercial / Business Energy Audit Tips

Present the energy auditor with your typical hours of operations, number of employees, and thermostat settings during & after work hours.

Your behavior, the climate you live /work in and the age of your premise can help an auditor create a strategy for you to save energy.

How does an Energy Auditor conduct the inspection?

When the auditor arrives, he or she will have some equipment with them such as a thermographic or infrared camera. These camera use long wavelengths to measure the flow of energy in a building, illuminating heat and making cool air appear as a light color. By using this camera the auditor can actually see how the air is flowing in your premise and also see if it is escaping through doors, windows, floors or ceilings. They will canvas your premise, noting construction materials, appliances, and the general age / condition of the premises.

The energy auditor may ask to inspect your furnace to assess how efficient it is. Some older furnaces use a lot of energy but don’t emit an efficient amount of heat. Likewise, older air conditioning units might be using excessive amounts of energy or have significantly less chilling power to cool your house. The energy auditor can make suggestions as to how you can work with your older unit to save energy or may recommend you replace it with a more energy efficient one.

How do I find a reputable Energy Conservation Audit company?

EnergyConservationAudit.com is working hard to find companies that offer energy audits free of charge or for a nominal fee, depending on your location. We strive to work with reputable companies, and make a habit of checking our partners Better Business Bureau records on an annual basis. We highly recommend that before you make an appointment for an energy audit you ask for / check the references of any company you are thinking of doing business with. When checking energy auditor references, be sure to double check the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) to see if they have any recently opened complaints.

An energy audit can save you significant money and make your home and business more comfortable no matter what the season is!

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