If you’re looking for ways to save money on your energy bills and help the environment, getting started can be overwhelming. You might know that your old thermostat is inefficient or you have windows that let too much air into the house, but will little fixes really help you achieve your goals?
That’s where a home energy audit can help. During the audit, a trained, certified professional visits your home and evaluates energy consumption and retention compared to the standards for current houses. At the end of the audit, you will know which parts of your home are damaging your energy efficiency and costing you money.
REenergizeCO is here to help if you are looking for a professional home energy audit company. Meet our team of BPI-certified Energy Auditors or contact us to schedule your home visit in Denver, Fort Collins, and throughout the Front Range.
What Training Does an Energy Auditor Have?
The U.S. Department of Energy developed guidelines for what it takes to become an energy auditor. The certification requirements are designed to build “comprehensive knowledge, practical skills, and technical proficiency.”
Certifications are awarded by BPI, or the Building Performance Institute. Achieving certification as an energy auditor involves:
- 1,000 hours minimum in a home performance field or performing audits in the building sciences
- Training in energy modeling, or submission of energy models to BPI
- Some combination of experience in the building trades, industry-specific training that aligns with duties of energy auditor, and/or other energy industry certifications
- Completing an application and written exam
- Completing a field exam on five prepared scenarios
Some energy auditors also attend four-year universities and earn degrees in the sciences or engineering, although this is not required. Certification must be updated every 3 years.
How Do I Get Started on My Home Energy Audit?
Before the auditor evaluates your home, we will need some information from you. The first step is for you to gather information on your energy usage for the last year. For homeowners in the Front Range, that information is available under your customer profile on the Xcel Energy website.
Please print out or have your energy history handy on a computer or tablet for the energy auditor visit. When our team arrives, the energy auditor will:
- Sit with you to review the data on your home energy usage
- Ask how many people live in the house
- Discuss your energy consumption habits
- Do a walkthrough of the house with you to see the rooms with heat and energy loss
After meeting with you, the home energy auditor will conduct a series of inspections and tests to measure energy efficiency.
In older homes, the foundation and outside walls can both be significant areas for energy loss. The home energy auditor will check for cracks and other openings that could be letting air into the house.
We will also examine the components of your HVAC equipment to ensure the unit and vents are working properly. Heating and cooling issues don’t just affect the comfort of your home and what you pay on your energy bill. They can also have an adverse effect on air quality, which can lead to health issues for you and your family.
Certain rooms and features of your home have a higher potential for energy loss, especially if your house is several decades old. As such, the energy auditor will inspect:
- The attic
- The basement
- The crawlspace
- Air vents and registers
Even some of the smallest components in your house can have air leaks, including electrical outlets and lighting fixtures. Our home energy auditor will also check your thermostat; older models are less accurate than current technology, and the setting will provide us some idea of the temperature you try to maintain in your house.
Thermal Imaging Scan
One of the advanced pieces of technology we employ during the energy audit is a thermal imaging gun that detects infrared energy. Infrared imaging enables us to see the differences in thermal energy within your home.
Areas of cold or cool temperature emit energy in the purple or blue spectrum, while warmer areas display as red, yellow, or orange. Spaces with significant blue or purple zones may indicate areas that would benefit from improvements to your home insulation.
Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ) Test
In addition to finding you ways to save money and improve your comfort, evaluating home safety is another key component of the home energy audit process. In addition to inspecting the air conditioner and heating system, the auditor will examine the furnace and other combustion appliances.
The home energy auditor will perform a CAZ test of the furnace, boiler, water heater, and any other natural-draft appliances to ensure that they work properly and are not leaking hazardous gases.
Blower Door Test
A calibrated fan is mounted to the frame of your front door and run at 20 mph. The fan creates a low-air pressure environment in your home. Using an air pressure gauge, the auditor can determine how much air gets into your home through openings in the exterior and areas of poor insulation.
Review & Recommendations
Once the energy auditor has performed inspections and tests, he will sit down with you again to review our findings. Although energy audits involve a lot of technical details and data, the auditor should be able to present you with straightforward, dollars-and-cents information that you can use to decide your course of action for cutting energy consumption and reducing your bill.
When you work with REenergizeCO, our goal is never to “hard sell” you. We genuinely believe each homeowner deserves energy savings solutions that work best for the age of their home, the size of their home, and their budget.
Contact REenergizeCO to Get Started on Your Energy Audit
Our team at REenergizeCO includes building sciences professionals who have the knowledge and experience to help you make smart, energy-efficient decisions. Our BPI-certified Energy Auditors are key to helping homeowners get the information they need to weigh their options.
Xcel offers multiple rebate options for customers who proceed with an energy audit. Our team does it all, from the energy audit to helping with the rebate to performing the work should you hire us to make your home energy improvements.
REenergizeCO has offices in Denver and Fort Collins, and we serve the entire Front Range. Please contact us today to schedule your home energy audit.
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