Just What Is an Energy Audit?

Energy auditors perform diagnostic tests on homes and businesses in order to recommend methods of improving energy efficiency and lowering utility expenses. However, efficiency is not the only reason to consider such a service. Rooms that are uncomfortable, too hot or too cold, or have poor air quality could benefit from an analysis by an energy auditor. Many energy audit companies can test for energy leakage issues and can also perform combustion testing on large appliances and furnaces and recommend Energy Star-compliant replacements. Energy audits are also available for homes still under construction.

Energy efficiency
Most energy audits focus on the home as a whole, not just on single components such as an inefficient HVAC unit or drafty attic space. This method is intended to be a comprehensive survey of the energy efficiency of the home, which can allow homeowners a clearer picture of how efficiently their home uses energy. Auditors may use tools such as infrared cameras and duct blasters, which can detect under-insulated areas in walls and malfunctioning air ducts, and identify where heat loss and heat gain occur in the structure. They can also identify common areas of energy leakage and make recommendations for replacement of poorly sealed windows and light fixtures. Many auditors follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star standards for whole-home efficiency testing.