It can be frustrating to have costly utility bills month after month. You stay on top of your equipment maintenance but yet something is wrong. When you compare notes with your friends and neighbors, your utility bills are higher. The Department of Energy reports that some households spend around 17% of their monthly income on keeping the lights on and the heat working. Don’t worry the Air Doctors Heating and Cooling, LLC are here to help! This article will explain an Energy Audit is and also some of the benefits associated with it.
An Energy Audit is an evaluation of a building or dwelling’s use of energy. The energy audit targets three key areas: occupant health and safety, energy efficiency, and durability of building materials. A trained auditor will conduct a variety of diagnostic testing procedures and assess where the building stands on the three key fundamental areas. Once the test is complete the auditor reviews his or her findings with the building owner and goes over some of the recommendations that will make the building safer for the occupants, reduce energy consumption, and allow the building materials to last longer.
The testing is quite comprehensive. Initially, a visual inspection is performed to locate any trouble areas that the auditor should focus on. The auditor specially looks at large areas of moisture, foundation issues, Indoor air quality hazards like mold and mildew, etc. The auditor also looks for things such as recommendations for more energy efficient lighting devices, and plumbing fixtures that reduce water consumption. After the visual inspection, the auditor may use the assistance of a building modeling software and model the building. Modeling the building involves entering the specific details of the building into the software and the software will calculate where energy is being wasted. Additionally, the software will provide recommended areas of improvement. Finally, the software will prioritize the recommended projects. The projects are prioritized in order of most beneficial to least beneficial which will provide a better return on investment to the building owner.
The energy audit continues with the assistance of some pretty amazing instruments. Combustion Analyzers’ are used to measure the efficiency of fuel burning appliances as to determine if the fuel burning appliances are operating safely. The Combustion analyzer can measure the composition of exhaust gases and one key gas its measure is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, toxic gas and the Energy Auditor evaluates each and every fuel burning appliance for occupant safety.
Another staple of a good energy audit is the use of a blower door. A blower door is a device that causes a negative pressure in the building or structure. This negative pressure allows for the outside to come into the building. The blower door controls the pressure and flow of the depressurization and it can quantify how much air leakage is entering the house. Air leakage for a home is extremely important. If it is excessive, this will cause your heating and cooling system to work harder. To help understand where the leakage is coming from, a thermal imaging camera is often used with a blower door to help understand where the leakage is occurring. Reducing air leaks can have a substantial impact on energy reduction in a building and it is accomplished by a task called air sealing. Air Sealing is a specialized skill where a technician will seal areas of the home that are contributing to the air leakage.
To incentivize their customer to get energy audits performed, many utility companies participate in a rebate program. These rebate programs reward customers monetarily for hiring an energy auditor to perform the energy audit. The utility companies also provide money towards any recommendations that you elect as a result of an energy audit. Contact your local utility company as restrictions may apply.
Air Doctors Heating and Cooling, LLC are a fully licensed and insured heating and air conditioning company that serves most Southeast Michigan municipalities. Our staff is fully certified and pre-screened to provide our customers with a safe and satisfying experience. With over 100 years of combined industry experience, we take pride in solving all of your comfort needs. We are a family-based business that has been providing quality service to our neighbors for over 40 years. Contact us today to get started.