Here’s the purpose and process of a home energy audit

(Shuttershock photo)

If your air conditioner comes on too often or one room is hotter than the other, it may be time to do an energy audit for your home.

Just like x-rays and blood tests diagnose health problems, a home energy audit includes advanced equipment and technology to diagnose where energy is being lost in your home.

“A good energy audit is based on the number of tests performed and your lifestyle considerations. These factors, combined with the energy auditor’s experience, will identify ideal opportunities to reduce energy costs, repair hot rooms and improve air quality, ”said David Byrnes, Rosie, House Certified Partner with Green ID.

The process

A solid home auditor never stops pointing out your home’s energy flaws. After testing your home, the energy specialist will determine how a problem or solution in one area of ​​the home could affect performance in another – good or bad.

For example, Green ID’s Home Energy Audit includes a 14-point process that helps you find ways to save energy.

Homeowner Interview
This is a critical first step because you are one of the most important sources of information.

Visual inspection of the house
The inspector looks for possible ventilation problems, window and sun exposure, and typical design defects that can lead to other problems.

Blower door test for the whole house
This test measures how leaky your home is and isolates where the leaks occur.

Channel leak test
This test measures the amount of leakage in the ducts and a visual inspection of the ducts in the attic.

Evaluation of the channel design
An inspection will be made of how the ducts have been placed and installed to find ways to properly balance the air in the house, relocate ducts, or add new registers for maximum airflow.

Infrared camera inspection
Green ID’s infrared camera inspection detects hidden defects in the insulation and points out hotspots that can cause discomfort.

Analysis of the electricity bill
An analysis of your past energy usage can reveal a pattern of what is happening in your home.

Static pressure test
This process evaluates your HVAC system, plumbing, and registers and reports how well the airflow is moving through the delivery system and whether the system is starving for air.

Pressure test
Green ID’s pressure test detects pressure imbalances between rooms that exaggerate dust and allergens, air leaks and make the HVAC system harder than necessary.

Evaluation of water heating
The temperature settings of the water heater, the feasibility of alternative heating sources and other energy-saving options are checked.

Insulation and air barrier assessment
Good insulation is one of the key ways to save energy at home. A check of the state of insulation of your attic and the installation of insulation will be carried out. Poor installation or lack of knowledge from builders and insulation companies often results in many homes not being properly insulated.

Evaluation of the pool pump
Energy saving opportunities that are often overlooked, including the second largest energy consumer in your home, the pool pump system, are being explored.

Home energy report
The final step in Green ID’s energy audit is to summarize the results to provide you with modeled cost savings based on an advanced heating load calculation that we perform for your home. They will list each recommendation with clear prices that include the option of an 18 month cash payment.

Improvements from your energy audit can qualify you for discounts from your utility company. Make sure the energy auditor walks you through the process so you can save money and energy.

Beware of FREE energy audits

Byrnes suggests skipping the free energy audits as they are generally just sales presentations and estimates. The damage with these free audits is what they miss if they don’t do a thorough inspection.

“There is no way to visually look at the sewer system and determine how badly the entire system, let alone a sewer line, is leaking,” he says. “This is important because duct leaks are often hidden under the outer and insulating liners that cover the actual connections of the ducts.”

Insulation faults are another often overlooked element of a free energy audit. If the “auditor” only sticks his head into the attic hatch or never walks past the plywood walkway in the attic, expect a cookie cutter solution that does not fix any insulation defects. When the plumbers come to do the job, they don’t know what they are looking for and they are literally blowing over the problem.

DIY Home Energy Audit

You can check your energy consumption and perform an audit. Depending on how comfortable you are crawling around your attic, you can even check for obvious duct leaks around connecting ducts.

Here are some DIY energy saving tests.

• Check the timer settings on your pool pump. Set it for off-peak times and reduce it to turn the pool around once a day.
• Program your thermostat settings to subcool the house and change your APS tariff plan to Saver Choice Max and SRP tariff to E27. If you have another utility company, contact them for a comparable plan.
• Keep the inner bedroom and office doors open.
• Shade the sun-shaded windows with shadow bars or landscaping.
• Keep your filters clean.
• Clean the coils on the refrigerator.
• Turn the temperature on the water heater down to 130 degrees.

There are tests an energy auditor will do that most homeowners cannot do and years of knowledge they have amassed.

“To be a good energy auditor, you need to know about construction science, be a good detective and get your hands dirty and crawl around attics while you focus on solving problems related to durability, comfort, health and safety, and efficiency focused, ”says Byrnes. “We do this every day.”

The best thing Byrnes and his team find sometimes is that there is nothing to be found. In other cases, the list of recommendations seems endless.

“In any case, you are better informed than at the beginning,” he says.

GreenID offers energy audits for $ 99 in the Metro Phoenix area.

By diagnosing air conditioning problems and home energy inefficiencies, Green ID helps homeowners create healthier, more efficient, and more comfortable living spaces. As we are a small local company in the valley, we offer personalized attention to every home we visit and guarantee more attention to detail than what you would get from a large company.

Visit Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you want to send us any questions or comments, send an email to mailto: [email protected] Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, visit rosieonthehouse.com. Rosie Romero has been an Arizona home builder since 1988 and is the presenter of the Saturday morning syndicated radio show Rosie on the House. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.

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