What is an energy audit?
Energy audits are performed by trained inspectors who analyze points of low energy efficiency in your home. Energy auditors can be trained by a many people but there are two major organizations which train and certify energy auditors: the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Auditors often use specialized equipment such as blower doors and infrared cameras to test for seal quality and heat transfer.
How can and energy audit benefit you?
Energy auditors find weak spots where energy is being wasted as heat, conditioned air is being lost, or inefficient appliances drive up energy costs. Following are some of the primary places where your home may not be performing efficiently.
- Ventilation: inadequate attic ventilation causes hot air and moisture to be trapped in the attic causing air conditioners to run constantly and humidity to remain at an uncomfortable level.
- Insulation: insulation should reach all the way from the exterior wall to the interior wall that serves as an air barrier between the conditioned space and the non-conditioned space.
- Air Sealing: cellulose insulation can be used to seal penetrations, window casings, door casings and baseboards are often a source of unsealed openings where conditioned air can escape. In many homes, the attic floor should be the first priority for air sealing.
- Combustion Safety: for homes with combustion appliances specifically, contractors must be very careful when air sealing and Carbon Monoxide alarms should be installed in the area outside bedroom doors on every floor.
- Moisture Management: any water leakage should be sealed before a retrofit, if cellulose insulation is to be installed in an attic, make sure there are no roof leaks. If roof leaks are found, call a qualified Energy Smart roofer to repair the leak before installing installation.
- Building Structure: radiant barrier and low-E windows can increase efficiency of the building structure. If radiant barrier is installed in the attic the shiny side must face the air space. Most homes have windows with an R-value between R-1 and R-3 which are not energy efficient. Windows let in more heat than almost any area in most houses.
Contact your local energy smart professional, Lone-Star Roof Systems to learn more.
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