Home Energy Assessment
Do You Know Where Your Energy is Being Wasted?
Energy Star estimates that in a typical house, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Our experience indicates that the average home loses closer to 30% of the air that moves through the duct system. The result is an inefficient HVAC system, high utility bills, and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.
Warm air is always trying to move towards and mix with cooler air. Warm air leaking into your house during the summer and out of your house during the winter can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weatherstrip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can save on your heating and cooling bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.
A home energy audit is often the first step in making your home more efficient. An audit can help you evaluate what measures you can take to improve efficiency. But remember, audits alone don't save energy. You need to implement the recommended improvements.
Our home energy audits include advanced testing to determine the total air loss in your home (air infiltration) and HVAC system (duct efficiency). Leaks in the ducting and in your home mean money wasted. In as little as two hours, one of our teams can test you entire home, fix areas of immediate concern and discuss additional options for even more energy savings.
How Does the Air Escape
What We Do
Your energy audit will start with the arrival of a team of trained energy technicians. These technicians will:
- Prepare your home for air infiltration detection tests
- Conduct a thorough inspection of the home
- Install portable fan(s) and doorway venting for proper home seal
- Seal your HVAC Duct system
- Conduct HVAC air loss testing with state-of-the-art electronic equipment (Calibrated Duct Blaster)
- Inspect the HVAC system for leaks and repair any leaks found
- Conduct a follow-up air loss test to test improved efficiency
- Conduct a whole home air loss test (Calibrated Blower Door)
- Identify any areas of abnormal air loss and repair those areas
- Plumbing penetrations
- Electrical outlets and switches
- Attic access
- Exhaust fan penetration
- Door frames
- Conduct a follow-up whole home air loss test to test improved efficiency
Advanced Testing Equipment
A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. The auditors may use a smoke pencil to detect air leaks. These tests determine the air infiltration rate of a building.
Blower doors consist of a frame and flexible panel that fit in a doorway, a variable-speed fan, a pressure gauge to measure the pressure differences inside and outside the home, and an airflow manometer and hoses for measuring airflow.
There are two types of blower doors: calibrated and uncalibrated. It is important that auditors use a calibrated door. This type of blower door has several gauges that measure the amount of air pulled out of the house by the fan. Uncalibrated blower doors can only locate leaks in homes. They provide no method for determining the overall tightness of a building. The calibrated blower door's data allow the auditor to quantify the amount of air leakage and the effectiveness of any air-sealing job.
A Duct Blaster is used to directly pressure test the duct system for air leaks, much the same way a plumber pressure tests water pipes for leaks.
The Duct Blaster fan is first connected to the duct system at the air handler cabinet, or a return grille. After temporarily sealing all remaining registers and grills, the Duct Blaster fan is turned on to force air through all holes and cracks in the ductwork.
The fan speed is increased until a standard test pressure is achieved in the duct system. A precise leakage measurement is then made using an airflow and pressure gauge connected to the Duct Blaster system.