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What is a Whole House Energy Audit?

Infrared Energy AuditYour utility bill may be shocking, but it offers few helpful details: it doesn't tell you when your energy use peaks, doesn't explain how best to reduce power consumption, and doesn't tell you how your home is spending your money.

We think it’s worth finding out. A home energy audit is one of the first steps to understanding your home's energy usage, and its overall health and performance. Using a combination of high tech tests and common sense evaluations, a good auditor provides homeowners with a list of energy and money saving steps, explains how and why your house is costing you money, then prioritizes steps to take to knock down those costs over the long haul.

A typical audit is comprised of several steps:

1) A thorough visual inspection of the home's building envelope.

2) An insulation check, generally involving infrared thermography, to pinpoint spots where insulation may have settled, been improperly installed, or where it may be missing altogether.

3) An air leakage test using a blower door, to measure the cumulative effect of all the air leaks in the home.

4) A ventilation check: healthy houses have appropriate ventilation, and an auditor will test ventilation systems to ensure that they conform to safety standards.

5) A Gas detector is used to examine gas lines through out the home to insure that there are no leaks.

6) Combustion appliances that are atmospherically vented will be checked for backdrafting.

We believe that whole house energy audits by certified professionals are worth every penny, so long as you act on what the audit turns up.

Last off, bear in mind that what turns up might surprise you: homeowners are often shocked to discover that all the little air leaks throughout their house add up to the equivalent of a window being left open year round! Just remember that what you don't know can cost you: it's better to know!

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