Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Home energy audit results

For those of you curious about the results of the winner of the home energy audit I hosted as a giveaway earlier this year for this year's Freeze Yer Buns challenge, you can read about it on the blog, Concrete to Chickens, Home Energy Audit Results.

The blog author gives an honest assessment of the audit and what he got out of it as well as a bunch of pictures of the audit itself. It is pretty informative about what to expect from an energy audit.

Have you ever had an energy audit done and, if so, what's the most important thing you learned?


Anna M said...

Vermont does these audits as part of a weatherization program. We did it a few years ago and found two walls with no insulation and the upstairs door to our attached barn was hollow core and not caulked. They blew in insulation, replaced the door, sealed all over and added insulation in the attic. It dropped our heating needs by almost 1/2 for both oil and wood. In a house 140 years old it's more than worth the money for this kind of service. We estimate savings at more than $1000 a year.

Kate said...

We had one done. Our 140+ year old house did better than we expected - no worse than the average new build, in fact. Not that level of efficiency is fantastic.

The important thing I learned is of more benefit to others than it was to us. If the audit includes a blower door test, then you can take advantage of that by having caulking guns loaded with silicone sealer ready to go. In fact, if you were ambitious you could have a couple of friends over to help. While the blower door is installed and running, you can begin sealing up all the obvious small air leaks on your own. You won't get all of them, but if you're going to pay for efficiency improvements after the audit, addressing the air leaks is going to be one thing you pay for, probably on an hourly basis. So you can save yourself some money by preparing ahead of time and working quickly while that blower door is operating.

K said...

I had one done as part of a energy-efficiency grant (in Canada, so things might be different). It consisted only of the blower door test, and you had to improve your "rating" by so much (they did a second test after you finished your renos/work) to get a government grant that covered things like a new furnace, new windows, insulation, water heaters, etc.

My 83 year-old house was SO bad, the dude thought I had a window open during the test. Needless to say, after pulling down all the walls, insulating the walls and installing a vapour-barrier, and insulating both the attic and crawl-space, the house passed the second test with flying colours :)

After I finish all the renos, it would be interesting to get a "real" audit done, just to see where else I can improve. But, my natural gas bill is now HALF of what it was before insulating!

Olivia said...

Like K, I too am Canadian and we had an audit done about a year and a half ago as part of the energy efficiency program - it was necessary if you were applying for the government grants, as we were. Our house is also 140 years old and we had done many renovations over the years but knew there was still more we could do. As part of the program a follow-up was required and we did very well.

We actually had done quite well at the first audit, considering the age of the house, but we noticed a dramatic improvement after we made the recommended changes. We heat primarily with a wood cookstove - the furnace is used only for keeping the basement at 50F to prevent the concrete walls from freezing and cracking. When we first bought the place, many years ago, we had no furnace and used THREE woodstoves to try and keep the place warm - and even with that it was frequently a losing battle. We had stripped the place down to its bare bones back then - literally - and then began insulating, insulating, insulating.
This is Canada, after all, and we are on the East Coast with its fierce winter gales, so finding all those air leakages is of the utmost importance.

Keelytm said...

When I had a home energy audit done, the thing that impressed me most was the blower door test. I couldn't believe how many leaks we had. No wonder our heating bill was so high in the winter; we couldn't keep the hot air in so we had to crank it. Now that we've had those leaks repaired, I can't wait to see how much we save next winter.

Daniel Bryan said...

I will conduct an audit as well. I will couple it with energy consumption rates and the killowatt bill rate. This is the way to go for energy efficiency leading to tax cuts.
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