We want to do a green audit on our home to find where energy is escaping. Where do I begin for that?

Question

We want to do a green audit on our home to find where energy is escaping. Where do I begin for that?

Asked by Caroline Andres

We just bought a house in Glen Ellyn, IL and are hoping to make it more green. We want to start with doing a green audit so we can find out where heat/AC might be escaping and where we might improve in energy efficiency. Any ideas of who to call for that?

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Answers

Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS's picture

Caroline,

The best place to start is your public utilities. Many utility companies across the nation have programs that offer subsidized audits to customers (with certain restrictions).

  • Contact your electric and/or gas supplier and find out what programs they may have available.
  • If they do not have programs currently running they may have a list of certified auditors available.

Certifications are awarded by BPI (Building Performance Institute). You can also contact BPI to find auditors in your area.

There are generally two levels of audits.

  • The basic audit will look at your type of heating system and the efficiency rating thereof, your windows, your water heater, shower heads and other low-hanging fruit.
  • A deep energy audit will include a blower door test, infra red imaging and likely a duct blasting test. The auditor will probably crawl around in both your attic and crawl space (assuming your house has these).

For us energy geeks, these are really fun to witness. Audits can take anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to as much as 5 hours depending on the size of the house and the type of audit.

Lastly some counties, in cooperation with a local bank, offer low interest loans programs specifically for making energy retrofits as defined by the energy auditors.

Good luck!

For more information:

The Find A Pro directory on GreenHomeGuide listsapproximately2,500energy auditorsand ratersacross the U.S. Click here to find one near you.