An energy audit identifies where the heat you’ve paid for is going.
Getting an energy audit enables you to understand and choose the weatherization tasks that will offer the best return on your investment.
Blower Door Test
A blower door test is a method used to measure how drafty your home is. You might believe most drafts come from your doors and windows but there are many other places air can leak into and out of your home. This test, combined with a careful inspection and thermal imaging, will expose the culprits and provide us with opportunities to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. The front door is covered with this flexible ‘door’ and fan mechanism. All exterior windows and doors in the house are closed but interior doors are opened. A special hose is also extended outside your home because we are measuring the difference between the air pressure inside and outside your home. The fan is then turned on and slowly turned up until the pressure differential is 50 pascals. A device is used to measure the airflow required to maintain this pressure. The more airflow required the more air leaks there are in your home. Once the leaks have been identified and sealed we do another blower door test to prove we have successfully improved the energy efficiency of your home.
Thermal imaging is achieved by using an infrared measurement tool. The hand-held tool has a multicolored digital display that identifies surface temperature. The warmest areas are white and red, the coldest spots are blue. When used inside a home, in conjunction with a blower door test, thermal imagers enable our auditors to identify uninsulated spots inside a wall and openings in walls and foundations that are allowing heat to leak or cold air to be drawn in. Thermal imaging is also a valuable tool for observing the heat loss from the exterior surfaces of a building. This image (left) shows that the warmest exterior surface of this home isn’t the windows, it is the concrete foundation! The heat loss from the foundation is not visible to the human eye, but is readily visible using thermal imaging.
The Audit Process in a Nutshell
An energy efficiency audit takes place in your home or office. The OES energy auditor measures draftiness, using the IR camera to determine R values, and measures all of the dimensions of the building. In addition to this test our experts will examine your home first hand for moisture, leaks, cracks and other potential issues. Our trained energy efficiency experts will conduct a blower door test to determine how drafty your house is, and use high tech thermal imaging to seek out hot and cold spots in your home which expose opportunities to resolve even more issues.
After the site visit, the auditor puts the data into the OES building energy model and calculates the solid surface heat loss (in BTUs) from walls, ceilings and foundation and heat loss (in BTUs) from draftiness. The audit report provides step by step solutions to reduce drafts, improve air quality, address moisture issues and increase the overall comfort of your home throughout the seasons. After implementation we do another blower door test to measure our success.