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Our Home Energy Audit

August 28, 2010

Yesterday Retrofit America came to our house and did a home energy audit.  Below are my notes about some of the procedures included and their preliminary findings.  I will have more detailed information regarding the results next week and will publish those here as well.  The initial estimates say they can reduce my energy bills (gas & electric) by 1/3.  Here are some bullet points of how it went down:

Preparing for the energy audit was really easy.  All we needed to do was supply them with 12 months of our gas and electric bills.  We don’t keep 12 months of bills on hand, so I logged into each account and was able to print them out straight from their website.  You can also speak with a rep on the phone and they can typically email or fax the bills to you.

  • Duct Blaster

    First thing he did was check the gas lines for leakage, those were all clear

  • The water heater is pulling oxygen like it should
  • Checked the furnace for carbon monoxide levels >should be below 25 parts per million (ppm), ours are 28ppm > recommends servicing the unit
  • There are two chases running from the basement all the way up through the attic which is likely a great source of air leakage…the blower door later confirmed this.
  • Insulation in the attic is on average 5 inches.  Recommend beefing this up.
  • Attic fan is not working therefore not creating any airflow.  Recommend adding a ridge vent or spray foam insulation.
  • Should also add insulation to the floors where unconditioned space is below.
  • Add sheathing to basement walls where unconditioned space is on other side.
  • Tip for finding leaks in your house: Look for cobwebs, they typically represent an air leakage (spiders find the fresh air).
  • Blower door test revealed .48 air changes per hour.
    • .35 is the lowest you can bring it down without adding mechanical features such as fresh air intake…would ultimately strive to be zero air changes.
    • Tons of air loss at attic door and basement doors to unconditioned space and garage
    • Windows actually looked pretty good because of strip caulk done at cracks
  • Duct blaster revealed 25% air leakage
    • Most of the leakage seemed to be at the supply vents.  They need to be sealed and insulated.
  • Suggested adding a low-e film to front windows to reduce radiant heat gain in summer.

Here is a slideshow showing what was done and some of the areas that need improving on:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2010 5:08 pm

    I like your report Carson! Good Account!

    I would suggest looking into Solar Screens for the windows instead of LO E film. Here in the mid-west it costs less. It is certainly easier to replace at some point. Yes, I have seen LO E films need to be replaced at 15 – 20 years.

    The extra with solar screens, is that you can take them off for storage in winter. That allows the Solar Heat Gain to enter the house when you need it.


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