How An Energy Audit Can Save You Money
An energy audit is a series of diagnostic tests to determine the best ways to improve building performance and make your house more comfortable. The audit will identify how heat is escaping from your house, and how this leakage can be reduced or eliminated. An audit will provide you with the knowledge and understanding of how your house works — as a system. It will give you insight into how the overall condition of your house relates to fuel usage, indoor air quality, and comfort. The cost of our comprehensive energy audit is only $250.
As an Efficiency Excellence Network contractor here in Vermont, EnergySmart of Vermont can help you book an energy audit with our qualified team. After we have carefully determined which qualifying home performance upgrades will provide the greatest benefit to your home, you will qualify for big savings on professional services like insulation upgrades and air sealing!
These lucrative savings offer up to 50% off the cost of these qualified home performance upgrades, as follows:
- 50% savings of up to $4,000 for income qualified customers, defined as those who make below 120% Area Median Income*
- 50% savings up to a $2000 cap for customers making 120% of the average median income and higher
* Income to be self-verified by the customer
When the EnergySmart auditor arrives at your home, he or she will start by looking around the outside of the house. Among other things, the auditor is looking for where vents like bath fans, kitchen hoods, and the dryer penetrate the building’s exterior shell. Once the outside overview is completed, the auditor will do a quick tour of the inside of your home and briefly interview you about what issues you are experiencing, such as problems with comfort or maintenance.
The auditor will then set up a fan in an exterior doorway and use it to slightly reduce the air pressure inside your home. This is known as the “blower door test.” The auditor uses this test to gather data about your house. During the test, the lower air pressure inside the home draws in air from the outside, which enables the auditor to quickly identify places where cold air is entering your home.
During the blower door test, you can hold your hand up to a leaky area, like a gap between a wall and a window, and feel the air coming in. It would take too long to check your entire house this way, so we speed up the process by using a handheld infrared scanner to find those leaky spots. The IR scanner shows the temperature differences between areas as different colors or shades of gray. Colder air leaking in from the outside shows up graphically on the screen and enables the auditor to note exactly the locations where air sealing or other improvements are needed.
The EnergySmart auditor will inspect different areas of your house, including the basement and the attic. The top and bottom areas of a house are often the places where the greatest improvements in energy efficiency can be made.
The EnergySmart auditor will test your home’s heating system, as required by the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. A combustion efficiency test will be done to determine how much fuel ends up as heat in your house, as opposed to going up the chimney. The auditor will also analyze exhaust gases for hazardous levels of poisonous carbon monoxide, both in the basement and in the kitchen if you have a gas stove.
Our energy audit includes reviewing your electrical use and replacing inefficient lighting with compact fluorescent light bulbs. We can provide you with CFLs in any light that has an average “on” time of at least one hour per day.
The final step in the energy audit is a written report, which will include recommendations for energy efficiency renovations. The report will estimate renovation costs and provide information about your potential savings and how quickly to expect a return on your investment.
Blower Door Tests
Heating & Cooling System Tests
Thorough Visual Inspection
Benefits of an Energy Audit
An energy audit will tell you how conditioned air is escaping from your home and identify how outside air is getting in. You can use this information to reduce your fuel bill and make your home comfortable. Another benefit is making your home healthier, by improving the indoor air quality.
- Reduced Energy Costs
- Lower Heating Oil Costs
- A Reliably Comfortable Home
- Decreased Carbon Footprint
- Healthier Indoor Air Quality
Heat Pumps: Two-in-One Home Comfort Solution
After your energy audit, you may be recommended to upgrade your cooling or heating system to a high efficiency heat pump. Heat pumps have seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years, due to versatile heating and cooling functionality. The efficiency of heat pumps begins with the fact that heat pumps rely only on electricity — they don't need oil, natural gas or any other combustion fuel.