An energy audit—also referred to as an energy assessment—is a series of diagnostic tests used to determine the best ways to improve building performance and make your home more comfortable. Through this assessment, an energy audit contractor can determine how heat is escaping from your home and what can be done to reduce or eliminate the loss.
An energy audit will give you a better understanding of how your home works as a system, and give you insight into the ways in which the overall condition of your home relates to fuel usage, indoor air quality, and overall comfort.
How Much Does an Energy Audit Cost?
The cost of an energy audit can vary, depending on the building being audited and the company performing the assessment. At EnergySmart of Vermont, we want to make it as easy as possible for homeowners to get the data they need to improve their home’s energy efficiency. That’s why we offer comprehensive energy audits for just $250.
In addition to keeping testing costs low, we also offer savings on qualifying home performance upgrades. Once your energy audit has been completed and our team has determined which upgrades will provide the greatest benefit to you and your home, you’ll be able to take advantage of big savings on professional services, including insulation upgrades and air sealing! Savings include:
50% savings up to $4,000 for income-qualified customers, defined as those who make below 120% area median income*
50% savings up to $2,000 for customers who make 120% or more of the area median income
*Income to be self-verified by the customer.
What To Expect During Your Home Energy Audit
When you partner with EnergySmart of Vermont for an energy audit, you can rest assured that you’re working with a qualified company. We utilize the latest home energy assessment technologies, and all of our auditors are trained and certified to complete home energy efficiency tests.
During the assessment, our 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 with insulation, air sealing, and moisture control. Our team follows a careful process, which we’ve developed to streamline testing and ensure the most accurate results possible. This includes:
A Visual Inspection
We start every energy audit with a quick interview, during which we’ll ask you about the issues you’re experiencing, such as problems with comfort or maintenance. Then, we’ll take a look at the outside of your home, noting where vents like your bathroom fans, kitchen hood, and dryer penetrate the building’s exterior shell, before touring your home’s interior.
A Blower Door Test
The auditor will then set up a fan in an exterior doorway and use it to safely reduce the air pressure inside your home. This is known as the “blower door test.” We use this test to gather data about the airtightness of your house. During the test, the lower air pressure inside the home draws in air from the outside, and the computer sensor connected to the blower door fan provides a reading of the total air leakage present in the home.
Infrared Camera Scan
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, however, take too long to check your entire house this way. We speed up the process by using a handheld infrared scanner to find those leaky spots. Infrared cameras for home energy audits show 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 the exact locations where air sealing or other improvements are needed.
Heating & Cooling System Test
Our auditor will also test your home’s heating and cooling 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. Depending on the results of your heating and cooling system test, we may recommend upgrading to a more efficient option, such as a heat pump.
Electrical System Review
During your energy audit, we’ll also take a look at your electrical usage and replace 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 you can expect a return on your investment.
Schedule An Energy Audit With EnergySmart of Vermont!
Looking for a home energy audit near you? Turn to EnergySmart of Vermont! We take a whole-home approach to energy efficiency and aim to provide the most effective updates for our customers’ homes. We can help you make smart, target performance upgrades that will lead to substantial improvements in home comfort and lower energy costs.
Take the first step toward a more energy-efficient home—schedule an energy audit today! Call 802-476-3549 or contact us here to get started.
Blower Door Tests
Heating & Cooling System Tests
Thorough Visual Inspection
Benefits of an Energy Audit
If your home is losing energy, you probably already know. Cold spots, inconsistent temperatures between rooms and floors, and indoor drafts are all signs of energy loss. Poor energy efficiency can also send your energy bills skyrocketing as your HVAC system attempts to keep up with the constant heat loss or heat gain. And, outdoor contaminants can find their way into an unsealed home, which can be a health hazard and make your family sick. Knowing the problem exists is the first step, but you can’t do anything about it until you understand how conditioned air is escaping your home and identify the places where outside air is getting in. An energy audit will show you where to look and shine a light on the most problematic areas so that you can make smart upgrades that will have the greatest impact on your energy efficiency, comfort, indoor air quality, and energy bills.
- 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.