What is A Home Energy Audit & How Does it Benefit Me and My Home?

What is A Home Energy Audit & How Does it Benefit Me and My Home? - Image 1

Energy Audits

An energy audit helps you to understand how much energy your home is using and where you can conserve energy to not only have a smaller impact on the environment, but also save money. Your home operates as a system, each area influencing another. Simply addressing one small problem won’t necessarily solve the bigger problem. Energy auditors and home performance contractors look at your home as a complete system using building science to diagnose and solve your concerns instead of just putting a band-aide on them.


Types of Energy Audits

There are different types of energy audits, industrial, commercial, and residential. Each of these looks at different areas of the structure and what is consuming energy in those environments.

In residential or home energy audits, auditors can look at a myriad of different factors in your home including appliances, lightbulbs, and insulation. The purpose of a home energy audit is to determine how efficiently your home is operating and where your home is wasting energy.


Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

·                     Determine energy usage and what equipment is using the most.

·                     Find Unknown issues that could be costing you a lot of money and making you uncomfortable.

·                     Uncover potential hazards in your home.

·                     Find opportunities to improve your home’s efficiency.

·                     Save money & live comfortably by addressing inefficiencies and better moderating temperature and indoor air quality.

·                     Customized solutions to address the concerns in your home and achieve your goals.


What Happens During an Energy Audit

During an energy audit with The Drying Company, an advisor will take a few minutes to discuss any symptoms or problems you’ve noticed in your home as well as what you want to achieve. Once we understand where your concerns are and your goals for making your home more comfortable and energy efficient, we will begin our assessment.

Your advisor will do a thorough investigation of your home looking for causes of energy loss. They will inspect your basement or crawl space, around windows and doors, utilize a thermal camera to look for air loss and drafts, examine HVAC and ductwork efficiency, and inspect your home’s attic space.


Common Concerns/Goals:

Often homeowners have similar concerns and goals for their home. Some include:

-                      High energy bills / lower energy bills

-                      Rooms that are hotter or colder than others / make whole house comfortable.

-                      Cold floors / have warmer floors.

-                      Drafty rooms / reduce drafts.

-                      Musty odors in the home / improve indoor air quality.

-                      High humidity in the home / improve indoor air quality & lower humidity.


The Tools:

-                      Blower Door Test: we utilize a blower door to demonstrate and locate air loss. Blower door testing with reporting is often only beneficial to homeowners or builders who are looking to obtain energy efficiency ratings. For homeowners looking to reduce energy bills and improve the comfort of their home, using the blower door to diagnose and not report is sufficient.

-                      Smoke Pencil: A smoke pencil helps to provide a visual of the air movement. Using this tool near vents that are off can help us find if there is leakage in the ductwork. It also shows us where air is moving around windows and doors to identify drafts.

-                      Thermal Imaging Camera: The thermal imaging camera provides a visual measurement of temperature in your home. It can help us find rooms that are hotter or colder than others, determine how much heat transference is occurring between your attic and the rooms below and find cold spots or drafts.

-                      Moisture meters: Advisors use wood moisture meters to determine if moisture is impacting the wood in your attic, basement, or crawl space. They also utilize hygrometers to read the humidity of the air outside your home, under the house, in the house, and in the attic to determine if there are humidity or moisture concerns.

-                      Visual Inspection: A visual inspection is done to locate cracks in walls, deteriorating or falling insulation, the number of can lights in your home, and to locate utility penetrations and top plates in the attic.

-                      Manometers: A manometer can be used to read static pressure in your duct work helping to determine if there is pressure or air loss as conditioned air is sent down the trunk line to the rooms in your home.


Once your home energy assessment is completed, your advisor will review their findings with you and explain the science behind why it’s happening. We’ll discuss the causes of your concerns, such as why the bedroom is hot in the summer and the living room freezing cold in the winter. Then we’ll work with you to develop a plan to address your concerns and achieve the goals we set together.


The Solutions:

We always start with building science when developing a home energy and comfort solution.

The ABCs of Building Science tell us to address energy loss First in the Attic (A), Second in the Bottom of the home, the basement or crawl space (B), and finally in the Conditioned Space (C). This is the process we follow; however, your goals can change that. If your biggest concern is improving indoor air quality and protecting your home’s substructure, then we may recommend starting with B, the bottom of the home and address the basement or crawl space first.


Common Solutions Include:

-                      Air Sealing the Attic

-                      Insulating The Attic

-                      Sealing & Insulating Ductwork

-                      Air Sealing the Crawl Space / Basement

-                      Insulating floors

-                      Insulating foundation walls

-                      Installing a dehumidifier under the home

-                      Waterproofing the Basement

-                      Crawl Space Encapsulation

-                      Vapor Barriers

-                      Water management



Why we don’t look at Appliances and Light Bulbs:

Looking at the energy usage of your appliances such as your oven, fridge, and hot water heater or changing out light bulbs aren’t part of our energy audits. Why? They use minimal energy compared to what you’re losing due to the natural construction of your home.


Often homeowners have gone to their HVAC contractor to ensure their equipment is sized properly, and getting oversized equipment to try and solve comfort problems can actually raise energy costs. We look at where that expensive conditioned  air you’re already paying to heat and cool is being lost.  Running your HVAC less to keep conditioned air in is going to make you more comfortable, reduce wear and tear on your equipment, and  reduce energy bills  saving you more in the long run than replacing your stove or lightbulbs.


This doesn’t mean we’re against swapping out lightbulbs for LEDs and upgrading to Energy Star rated appliances – in fact we do recommend doing it. However, these changes won’t make your home more comfortable, reduce energy bills, or save you money in the same way addressing the A and B zones of your home will. That’s where your biggest impact will be.



How do I get a Home Energy Audit?

Call The Drying Co. at 1-757-566-8622 to schedule your free home energy audit and estimate or click here to fill out our web form and we’ll call you!

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The Drying Co.
3005 John Deere Rd
Toano, VA 23168

The Drying Co.
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 637
Toano, VA 23168
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