The average home provides clues and information that can be used to improve the structure of the house, as well as make positive changes that can lower energy usage. One way in which homeowners can gather this type of information about their home is to schedule a professional home energy audit, sometimes called a home energy assessment.
Homeowners who are trying to decide whether pursuing this type of information would be beneficial for their family can use the following points to help them make their decision.
What information will be studied?
When a professional energy auditor assesses a home, they will gather and study several broad pieces of information to provide the homeowner with a report that will provide both accuracy and value. Some of the information that will be collected during the audit process typically includes:
- thermographic scans to show temperature zones and possible losses of heated or cooled air
- blower door testing results to show potential leaks, drafts, and any existing condensation or moisture issues
- historical information from past utility bills including amounts and dates of usage
- how the home is typically used, such as the hours when occupants are typically away or asleep and hours when more energy is being consumed
This type of data can also be compared with historical information about weather and temperature to provide a better understanding of how the home's structure, systems, or usage patterns could be improved.
What information will be needed from homeowners?
In addition to providing historical information from utility bills and details about how the family typically utilizes the home and its systems, homeowners may also be asked to provide some personalized information. For instance, auditors may find it helpful to know:
- how many people live in the home and their ages
- what thermostat temperatures are typically preferred
- the layout of the home and the typical usage of each area
- any special uses of the home that could cause additional energy usages, such as the operation of additional appliances or equipment for outdoor kitchens or home-based businesses
Homeowners may also be asked to finish a questionnaire to help provide helpful information before the home auditor arrives for the onsite inspection of the home. Additionally, homeowners should consider accompanying the auditor during the survey of the home to answer any questions that may arise.
To learn more about home energy audits, including scheduling information and the expected costs, homeowners should contact an HVAC contractor who provides this type of service in their area.