KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS BEFORE YOU TRY TO FIX IT.
Most homeowners call contractors to treat symptoms only. If there is a draft, a homeowner will probably call a window contractor. If the house is too cold in the winter, a call is made to an HVAC contractor to put in a bigger furnace. While most contractors can provide a quick fix and temporary relief, they are not looking at the big picture and addressing the true cause of the issue.
There are huge potential opportunities to improve the comfort and health of your home while at the same time reducing your energy bills. Energy savings are typically 20% or more. A comprehensive home energy audit will point out leaks in your home's thermal envelope, deficiencies in insulation, and other opportunities to stop heat loss and reduce energy consumption, while improving the comfort and safety of your home. If your plumbing was leaking, would you just let it leak? Would you leave a window part-way open all year round? Of course not! So why let your house and duct work leak air when you have paid to heat and cool your home?
At IES Green, a certified HERS (Home Energy Rating System) and BPI (Building Performance Institute) home energy rater will use the most advanced tools and techniques available to perform a comprehensive, whole-house energy audit. This systems approach and attention to detail allows IES Green to go beyond the guesswork and symptomatic spot repairs. The results of the testing will identify the root source of your home's problems, from which we will recommend solutions that will provide immediate and cost-effective results. The audit typically takes between one to two hours for a single family home, depending on the size and complexity of your structure and the requested report.
1. The first step in a home energy audit is to discuss what issues you may have in your home. Is a room drafty or cold? Is it difficult to heat or cool the second floor? Do windows condensate or leak? Do your energy bills seem too high? Basically, any comfort, health, safety, and energy cost issues related to your home will be discussed and noted. Following the initial interview, a complete physical inspection of the house’s interior and exterior will be conducted during which we thoroughly measure and specify the source of imperfections in the building's structure and components.
2. Next, combustion safety testing on all gas appliances is completed. This makes sure your house combustion devices do not draw carbon monoxide into the house when you turn on exhaust fans. Additionally, an efficiency analysis is completed to determine the efficiencies of your furnace and water heater.
3. A Blower door test with infrared camera analysis is completed to determine where leaks are occurring in the house. The use of infrared technology provides the ability to see energy movement in walls and ceilings to pinpoint the exact locations of cold/hot air leakage and insulation problems.
4. For duct work located in the attic, a duct blaster test can be performed to ascertain if there are any leaks in forced air duct systems that are recognized as a major source of energy waste in both new and existing houses. Studies indicate that duct leakage can account for as much as 25% of total house energy loss.
Once the technician has completed all tests, a report detailing the analysis of your energy audit will be provided and will detail the results as well as specify improvements you should consider. The information contained in each report will vary depending on the extensiveness and type of assessment you selected.
A Full Home Energy Audit will include a Summary Report as well as the Current Performance of your home and lists the major components of the house and their energy consumption, as well as details about the blower door test and airtightness limits. The second section of the report is the Infrared Report, which includes the infrared camera photos and information about air leaks, under-performing insulation, and other prominent items identified by the infrared camera.
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