A home energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An audit will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time. During the audit, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Audits also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An audit may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. The Home Tune-uP software produces a report which shows savings and costs for energy efficiency improvements, showing the estimated return on investment (ROI) for all energy savings improvements.
Step 1: Preparing for the Energy Audit
Before the energy auditor visits your house, make a list of any existing problems such as condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms.
Have copies or a summary of the home's yearly energy bills. (Your utility can get these for you.) Auditors use this information to establish what to look for during the audit.
Step 2: Inspection
The energy auditor will examine, measure, and evaluate the factors that affect energy use in your home, e.g., size of the home (square footage and area), number and condition of windows, efficiency of appliances, insulation, draftiness of rooms, and efficiency of heating and cooling systems (HVAC).
The auditor then will analyze the residents' behavior: Is anyone home during working hours? What is the average thermostat setting for summer and winter? How many people live here? Is every room in use?
The Energy Auditor may use equipment to detect sources of energy loss, such as blower doors, infrared cameras and surface thermometers.
Step 3: Detailed Analysis
The information gathered during the energy audit is analyzed using specialized software to produce a comprehensive Home Energy Tune-uP® Report. The Report shows which energy-efficiency improvements would reduce energy costs and make the home more comfortable. The analysis takes into account regional variables such as local weather, implementation costs, and fuel prices.
The Report contains estimates of the savings, costs and payback for each energy-efficiency recommendation. It identifies the group of improvements that, if financed, will save more on energy bills than it costs. These are the improvements that everyone can make since they require no out-of-pocket cost when financed.
The detailed Recommendations section enables contractors to provide preliminary cost estimates without a visit to your home. It also explains how to get the best energy savings from these improvements by listing related no-cost low-cost measures that you can take.