What do Home energy audits and liposuction have in common? They both tighten you up. Good thing is the audit is painless. But like liposuction, the outcome is amazing. Who wouldn’t want a new sleek figure? Give the gift of an energy audit to your house and fall in love with your house again.
Just to get you up to speed from my previously post, I discuss my own heat loss saga around my baseboards and crown molding. I wish I knew what I know now. Had I used gaskets in various areas, I would not be posting the below video.
In 2005, my house was certified as a New Jersey Energy Star house. Did the blower door and completed all the requirements. I was one happy bird. Fast forward, the love affair had ended. (Well, maybe the lust part but I still love my house in a more mature way.)
Houses Shift Like People’s Bodies
You know with age, everything seems to slide downwards? Kind of like my house. Shifting with age. All of a sudden, a love handle appears out of nowhere. Guess what, so does air infiltration. No one said aging is kind.
In the below video, The auditor is using the scanner to detect heat surface changes. It is usually used in conjunction with a blower door which tests air leakage. The infrared scanner will pinpoint exactly where heat loss is occurring. According to the US DOE,
“Thermography measures surface temperatures by using infrared video and still cameras. These tools see light that is in the heat spectrum. Images on the video or film record the temperature variations of the building’s skin, ranging from white for warm regions to black for cooler areas. The resulting images help the auditor determine whether insulation is needed. They also serve as a quality control tool, to ensure that insulation has been installed correctly.”
Oh, and wait to you see the corner studs. It ain’t pretty.
So What Did the Doctor order?
A little nip tucking was order. Not too much. The auditor suggested the following:
- Caulk around fireplaces where the mantels met the wood. To be honest, this just confused me.
- One window needed a little caulk
- He thought he could stop the second floor ceiling leakage with more foam in the attic.
- Could install baby proofing plugs to stop leakage out of the electrical holes. I had already installed foam in the electrical outlets.
What I couldn’t change:
- Recessed air tight light leakage. There was leakage around the light fixture.
- leakage around base moldings in second and first floors.
- leakage around first floor crown moldings.
- Can’t change leakage around corner moldings. They needed additional insulation stuffed in them when the house was framed. See here on how to insulate a corner when you are building a house.
In all, I did pretty well. You should consider giving your house a present and have an energy audit. Why continue to throw money out the window?
Does Your State/Country Offer A Rebate for Energy Audits or Retrofits?
- Check US state rebates. See if your state will pay for the audit and/or retrofits.
- Check here in Canada and here. See March, 2012 deadlines!
- State here for Australia
- British Gas in the UK is offering free insulation. Deadline is 7/2012. Check the website for date extensions.
Home Energy Auditors
Here is a list of some places to start looking for a home energy auditor:
- In the US, look here. (Always check your state to make sure that they don’t have their own list.)
- Also, in the US and Canada, check the Building Performance Institute. (See the locator tab.)
Energy Audits Aren’t Just for Homes
Although this article is about home energy audits, many energy performance specialists will use infrared scanners to look for energy leaks in commercial buildings. In addition, the scanners can detect water leaks in roofs, mold growth, and overheated breaker panels.
Join the Conversation:
- Did you have an energy audit done for your home? If so, what did it find?
- Does your area pay for energy audits?
- If you are an energy auditor, what do you mostly find?
- Any one understand what happens when a house shifts? What happens to the foam insulation?
- Do you think your house is leaking? Afraid to show your energy bills at parties?
- Please list in the comments UK, Australian, or any other country’s energy audit certifications programs.