Professional home energy audits
A professional home audit will usually begin with a series of questions
to learn how you and your family use energy , (copies of utility
bills, how many people in your family, is your home occupied all day,
do you have any cold or drafty rooms, temperature you set your
However, in addition to simply asking questions and making
observations, professionals will also have specialized equipment to
provide detailed information on your home.
Special testing equipment
Blower Door test
The test consists of installing/sealing a temporary door in your
outside door frame, then turning on a calibrated fan to blow air out
of your home, creating a pressure difference between the inside and
outside. Pressure sensors measure the amount of pressure needed to
blow air out of your home and providing an indicator of how 'air
tight' your home is (the higher the pressure needed, the more air
Thermal imaging tests
While you can visually check insulation levels in your attic and use a
tissue to determine if you have adequate insulation in your walls, a
professional energy auditor will use infrared scanning to provide a
thermal image (thermogram) of your home's insulation. The thermograms
provide visual images that show whether your home needs more
insulation and exactly where it should go.
The professional outcome
After dong the information gathering and specialized testing, the
auditor will be able to so they will be able to. give you an in depth
report that points out areas you can tighten your home's 'thermal
envelope' and reduce your home's energy consumption.
So, hire a professional or do it yourself?
You can do your own home energy audit simply using your eyes and
things you already have around the house, and the cost to you will
only be your time. If you want to know more about doing your own
audit, the US Department of Energy has a very good outline of how to
go about doing it yourself at their website.
A professional home energy audit will cost in the area $500. Not
cheap, but, while your home energy audit will provide basic
information, the professional audit will be much more specific and
it's evaluation and recommendations will quite likely more than pay
for itself with energy savings.
As an added incentive, many levels of government are providing
economic incentives to help pay for professional home energy audits
in an effort to promote increased energy efficiency
Murray Anderson is a veteran freelancer whose work has appeared in
books, newspapers and newsletters as well as in numerous web sites in
both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics
including homes, consumer and personal subjects as well as general
business and Marketing specific topics.