Typically 3-4 hours. You will learn a lot from your contractor if you are at home during your energy audit.
Common Elements of an Energy Audit
Your contractor will base their recommendations on a combination of diagnostic testing, visual inspection, and their own professional experience. Weatherization contractors are able to provide good recommendations even if they are unable to complete a blower door test or use infrared imaging during the home energy audit.
- Combustion testing checks whether your heating system and other combustion appliances are adequately vented for your safety.
- A blower door test de-pressurizes your home to measure/identify air leakage.
- Will NOT be completed if depressurization would disturb potentially hazardous material (e.g. vermiculite, mold), or create back-drafting in a warm woodstove.
- Inspection of all accessible insulation (e.g. attic, basement, knee walls, etc.)
- Infrared camera (used sometimes, but not always, to further assess air leakage and insulation levels)
- Thermal imaging works best when there is a significant temperature difference between indoors and outdoors.
- Energy audit report (completed and sent to you after the audit; contains detailed recommendations)
Pre-Audit Checklist for Homeowners
- Plan to be present and follow your contractor around during the audit. This can be as valuable as reading the written energy audit report.
- Call your contractor the day before your audit to confirm your date/time.
- Ensure there is a clear path to access your attic and any knee walls or crawl spaces.
- Do not light a fire in your woodstove on the day of your energy audit – your stove must be completely cold, with no embers whatsoever, in order to safely complete a blower door test.
- Make sure your furnace is operational (can be turned on; is not awaiting repairs) – this is necessary for the combustion testing portion of your audit.
Plan to share the following with your contractor
(even if your contractor doesn’t ask for it)
- How much fuel do you use each year?
- Is your thermostat programmed? What temperatures do set your thermostat to?
- Where in your house do you notice cold floors, condensation, drafts
- Where do ice dams and/or icicles occur?
- Have you noticed any snow melt patterns on your roof? Spots that melt sooner than others?
- What are your weatherization priorities? Cost savings? Comfort? Reduced ice dams?
- Are you planning any other home renovations in the next year or so?
- Does your home have vermiculite, radon issues, knob and tube wiring, or mold?
- Prepare a list of any specific questions you have for your contractor.
After Your Audit
- Ask when you can expect to receive an audit report. Contact your contractor if you have not received a report by the promised day.
- You are under no obligation to move forward with any of your contractor’s recommendations.