energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, is the first step to
assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can
take to make your home more energy efficient. An assessment will show you
problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR - Energy Trust of Oregon from Energy Trust of Oregon on Vimeo.
the assessment, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Energy
assessments also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling
systems. An assessment may also show you ways to conserve hot water and
electricity. You can perform a simple energy assessment yourself, or have a
professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough assessment.
A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and
equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. Thorough
assessments often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the
building’s exterior structure, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration
and missing insulation.
Professional Home Energy Assessments
assessments generally go into great detail. The energy auditor should do a
room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of
past utility bills.
Many professional energy assessments will include a blower door test, image on right. Most will also include a thermographic scan.
Preparing for an Energy Assessment
Before the energy
auditor visits your house, make a list of any existing problems such as
condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms. Have copies or a summary of the
home's yearly energy bills. (Your utility can get these for you.) Auditors use
this information to establish what to look for during the audit. The auditor
first examines the outside of the home to determine the size of the house and
its features (i.e., wall area, number and size of windows). The auditor then
will analyze the residents' behavior:
Is anyone home during working hours?
What is the average thermostat setting for summer and winter?
How many people live here?
Is every room in use?
Your answers may help
uncover some simple ways to reduce your household's energy consumption. Walk
through your home with the auditors as they work, and ask questions. They may
use equipment to detect sources of energy loss, such as blower doors, infrared cameras,
furnace efficiency meters, and surface thermometers.
Information above from Energy Trust of Oregon and US Department of Energy website, EnergySavers.gov.
A sample report which you will receive from Energize NE participation is below, or click a link to download the full Home Energy Performance Report: