In “Consider an Energy Audit, Part 1,” I talked about an energy audit being the best way of determining the energy efficiency of a client’s home. In Arizona, an energy audit that is performed by a certified energy auditor is subsidized by SRP and APS, with a final cost to the homeowner of only $99.
Here’s what your clients can expect when having an energy audit performed: After completing an initial interview to learn more about the homeowners’ energy behaviors and habits, the auditor will perform a full home assessment by reviewing the home’s:
- Insulation effectiveness
- Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning performance
- Air-duct leakage and restrictions
- Construction integrity issues
- Ceiling and other “Hot spot” areas
In a previous blog post, I explained the blower-door test, which is an important step of the energy audit. In addition to the blower-door test, the auditor will also conduct a visual inspection of the attic to determine how the ductwork is laid out and check for things such as crushed ducts, undersized ducts, and any tears or damage to the ductwork. The auditor will check insulation depths and knee walls and make sure they are properly insulated with at least R-30 batt fiberglass insulation. Batts may sometimes be installed incorrectly, which the auditor will determine.
Also as part of the energy audit, the auditor will also take an HVAC static pressure reading. Static pressure is one of the most important factors in HVAC design. Simply put, this pressure refers to the resistance to airflow in a heating and cooling system’s components and ductwork. The push of the air must be greater than the resistance to the flow, or no air will circulate through the ducts.
After completing an in-depth inspection, the contractor will help owners determine where their house is losing energy (and money) and how such problems can be corrected to make the home more energy efficient. The auditor will also ensure the homeowner receives available rebates and financing offers to offset costs. Some measures may qualify for federal tax credits.