Home Energy Audit

We recommend performing a Home Energy Audit as the first course of action to determine the best strategy for making your home more energy efficient - and thus more sustainable.  As air infiltration is usually the largest factor in heat loss, performing a blower door test is helpful to see how tight your home is.  Trouble spots for leakage around foundation sill plates, exterior wall penetrations (pipes, electrical receptacles, windows and doors seals, etc.) and wall top plates in the attic can be identified and air-sealed with spray foam, sealants and caulking as the first line of action.  Then additional insulation can be added to attics or walls or crawlspace floors.  Only after these tasks have been completed should you address more costly investments like new heating systems, solar hot water systems or photovoltaic arrays.  Unless windows are at the point of falling apart, it is usually more cost-effective to provide additional weatherstripping or to install exterior or interior storm panels rather than replacing all the windows in a home.

Finding a firm to perform the audit can be accomplished either through your utility company (sometimes as a free service) or by engaging a home energy professional accredited by BPI (Building Performance Institute).  This may cost approximately $400 to $500 for an inspection and written report, but is money well spent so that you will know how to proceed with your energy conservation efforts. As the pie chart of Typical U.S. Residential Energy Use shows - space heating and cooling is the largest sector of your home energy budget.  So increasing the performance of your building envlope by air sealing and adding insulation may provide the greatest return on your home improvement investment dollar.