Home Energy Audits
"We believe an energy audit should be an enjoyable learning experience. And we are firmly committed to the principle that it is a potential conflict of interest for energy auditors to financially benefit from their own recommendations. The energy audit report must not be a marketing device. It must provide an unbiased professional opinion about the energy performance of your house along with specific recommendations for improving that performance. It must also provide the technical and financial data on which those recommendations are based. This way you or any professional contractor you choose can evaluate and implement the suggested improvements. We encourage your questions both during your energy audit and after you receive your report."
The goal of an energy audit is to advise you on the best ways to ensure your indoor comfort and healthy indoor environment, without damaging your house and using as little energy as possible. Your energy audit report will provide you specific recommendations about how to cost-effectively improve the energy efficiency of your home; in other words, how to reduce your fuel costs.
An energy audit is really a joint enterprise. You, the homeowner contribute whatever you know about your home, providing a guided tour for the auditor. You also provide information about your fuel and electricity use for at least the past few years, based on your fuel and electric bills. The auditor contributes his/her knowledge of building science and a thorough inspection and analysis of your home and all its energy using systems. Add to this current energy costs and the auditor is ready to prepare a detailed report, specific to your house, including a set of prioritized recommendations to improve energy efficiency. These recommendations usually include an indication of how much money you can expect to save by following each recommendation.
An energy audit (exclusive of calculations, analysis and reporting) takes two hours or more, depending on the size and complexity of the house. During that time we interview the homeowner, examine the home’s energy bills, determine the exact boundaries of the heated space (we do not audit unheated spaces), determine the solar orientation and solar potential of the home, thoroughly inspect the house from basement and crawl space to the attic, determine the type of construction and insulation levels, take lots of measurements and perform tests.
We use a number of instruments, ranging from a simple electrical circuit sensor, compass and psychrometer to a blower-door and an infrared camera. The blower door is used to determine the amount and location of hot and cold air-leaks in the home. The infrared camera, which takes pictures of surface temperatures rather than colors, is used both to visualize air leaks and to peer inside the building’s structure, X-ray-fashion, to determine such things as the presence or absence of insulation and moisture inside walls, ceilings and between floors.
All information is entered into a computer program. Calculations and comparisons are made and analyzed. Based on these we gain a picture of exactly where energy travels within and out of your home. We can quantify all heat losses from the structure according to type and location.
Once all calculations are completed, we generate a detailed report consisting of eight parts and 9 to 10 pages. Included are specific recommendations for how best to improve your home’s energy performance and what sort of monetary savings you can expect from each improvement.
There are 477,000 homes in Maine. Over 90 percent of them will benefit greatly from weatherization. On average these homes consume around 1,000 gallons of heating oil or equivalent per year. And the average Maine house can save over 45% of this energy by such simple weatherization techniques as sealing air leaks and adding insulation to attics, basements, crawl spaces, walls and windows.
To request an audit of your home, please contact Paul Kando (below) indicating the days of the week and time of day (am or pm) the house would be available. We will then schedule the audit.
Paul Kando (click to send email)
Midcoast Green Collaborative