Chapter

Professional Home Energy Audits

Professional energy audits generally go into great detail. The energy auditor should do a room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills.

Many professional energy assessments will include a blower door test and a thermographic scan using an infrared camera.

Preparing for an Energy Assessment

Before the energy auditor visits your house, make a list of any existing problems you’re aware of, such as condensation, and uncomfortable or drafty rooms. Have copies or a summary of the home’s yearly energy bills. (Your utility company can provide these to you.) Auditors use this information to establish what to look for during the audit.

What the Auditor Does

The auditor first examines the outside of the home to determine the size of the house and its features, including the wall area, the number and size of windows, etc.

The auditor then will analyze the residents’ behavior, including:

    • How many people live in the home?
    • Is every room in use?
    • Is anyone home during the daytime?
    • What is the average thermostat setting for summer and for winter?

Your answers may help uncover some simple ways to reduce your household’s energy consumption. Walk through your home with the auditor as s/he works and ask questions. The auditor may use equipment to detect sources of energy loss, such as a blower door, an infrared camera, a furnace efficiency meters, and surface thermometers.

Selecting an Energy Auditor

There are several places where you can locate professional energy assessment or auditing services. Your state or local government energy or weatherization office may help you identify a local company or organization that performs audits. They may also have information on how to do your own assessment. Your electric or gas utility may conduct residential energy assessments or recommend local auditors. Also, check your telephone directory under headings beginning with the word “Energy” for companies that perform residential energy assessments.

To find an InterNACHI-Certified Home Energy Auditor, visit www.InspectorSeek.com.

Before contracting with an energy auditing company, you should take the following steps:

  • Get several references, and contact them all. Ask if they were satisfied with the work.
  • Call the Better Business Bureau and ask about any complaints against the company.
  • Make sure the energy auditor uses a calibrated blower door.
  • Make sure they do thermographic inspections, or contact another company to conduct one.