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What’s An Energy Audit?

energy audit
Reading Time: 2 minutes

We all work very hard for our money and many of you are wasting your hard-earned dollars cooling your very leaky home. This is where an energy audit can come in to play and show you ways to tighten up your thermal envelope and really save big money.

What is a thermal envelope you ask? Very simply a thermal or building envelope is a barrier between an unconditioned and a conditioned environment. A building envelope also encompasses vapor, water, noise, and light. The thermal envelope obviously has to do with heating and cooling containment.

We all know that heat rises right? This holds true with the exception being your house. When we cool a home with an attic, the heat from the attic wants to find its way into the home any way it can. Heat will push into a home through the “top plates”, which are the areas where walls meet ceilings in the attic. The wall is hollow allowing heat transfer down it and that heat will travel out any penetration in the wall cavity. Other things like recessed can lights, holes for smoke detectors, sound systems, etc. can also allow extra heat in the home.

This is where the energy audit begins with the use of a high definition thermal imaging camera. When it comes down to it, the thermal camera really does the bulk of the work for the auditor. An in depth inspection with my thermal camera can really show us what the heat and cool are doing in terms of movement and mixing. In extreme cases we can also utilize what is called a blower door. A blower door is basically a giant fan that puts the structure we are testing under negative air pressure and simulates the atmospheric conditions the home goes through in a twenty four hour period. Depending on the size of the test subject, a good audit will take two to three hours to really comprehend what is happening.

Some of the other things we are going to inspect include how much insulation is in the attic and also the insulation on any knee walls, if present. The condition the windows are in, how tight the duct connections are, and the overall condition of your heating and cooling equipment.

After your audit is complete a good auditor is going to provide you with a written action plan on ways to reduce your electrical usage and increase the comfort in your domicile. We can help take care of hot and cold rooms, drafts, and just about anything you don’t like about the way your home feels. These types of projects can get pricey depending on how far you want to go, however, the good news is that they can usually be done in stages vs. tackling the whole thing at once. The other really good news is that these are the types of home improvements that, providing you plan to be in the home for several years, often pay for themselves.

Alright kids, that’s it for this episode and until you find yourself here again I was just wondering if leaving the brownies in the oven too long while I was napping counted as burning 2,000 calories?

House Whisperer out!!


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