For an advanced energy audit, you’ll need to call in the pros. According to the Department of Energy, a local home energy technician – also known as an auditor – will conduct the energy audit. The auditor will look for problems around walls and joints, go up to the attic to examine the trap door and see if air is escaping, and will check to see if the insulation has been property installed.
The energy auditor will also inspect the holes that your electrical wires pass through, since these holes can allow a significant amount of air to escape. The auditor will inspect the furnace and water heater as well. It’s important to note that older furnaces may not be as efficient, and the same goes for an old water heater – especially if it’s not insulated.
The auditor will also conduct a blower door test. This consists of closing all the windows and doors – and any other area that allows air to escape. Using a special fan, the auditor will depressurize your house – meaning all the air will be removed from the home. At this point, outside air will blow into the house, and the auditor will be able to use an infrared camera to detect where air is coming in.
According to the Department of Energy, air leaks can also be found around outdoor water faucets, switch plates and electrical outlets. Some of the other sources include door and window frames, baseboards, fireplace dampers, and around dryer vents.
“A more thorough and helpful energy audit also includes a heating and cooling system evaluation, including a home’s ductwork.” Summers says this type of audit is conducted by a certified HVAC professional. “They use infrared equipment to identify ductwork leaks and conduct blower door tests to identify ductwork air tightness.” Afterwards, homeowners can follow up by having their ducts sealed. “In addition to energy savings, the home will have cleaner air and a more comfortable environment.”