Energy Audits

I am going to use my camera do my first residential energy audit for a friend of mine, who owns a green home that was featured in the July issue of Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine.

These are the items I plan to check during the inspection.

  1.  Ducts(HVAC and Exhaust)
  2.  HVAC Unit
  3.  Measure Insulation
  4.  Doors
  5.  Windows
  6.  Appliances like Refrigerator and Stove
  7.  Main and Sub Panels
  8.  Window Coverings

Am I missing anything?

ceiling penetrations; lighting, smoke detectors, a/c registers, bath fans

Depressurize the house and see what comes in from the attic.

Air infiltration is the greatest loss there is.

Are you doing an actual energy audit? are you following any organizations procedures (HERS)? will you be reviewing their utility bills? will you be making recommendations for improvements, what those improvements will cost and what benefit they will receive from that improvement?

If you are not going to provide this information as well as the above recommendations and your own, are you really performing an energy audit? or are you providing a thermal scan?

Language is important in making sure your client (even friends) understand what they are receiving for a service and how it benefits them.


Good point Scott. I won’t be reviewing utility bills although I expect the conversation to turn to that at some point. I will make some recommendations but I will not calculate energy savings or pay back times. Maybe it should just be a thermal image energy evaluation.

The bottom line…

Most people want to know how to save money and get the most bang for the
buck from an “energy audit”.

If your client goes out and starts spending money on items that do not yield
the maximum return, then they will see your service as inferior, and their
utility bills will be their evidence.

Spend some time researching priorities with this in mind. Also, there are
some good and bad products out there to consider.

Interesting energy calculator to get you thinking…

Here are a couple of standards and manuals for conducting energy audits that I have found. I have a couple more but can not upload them to the BB because the files are too large even after zipping them. You can email me and I will send them to you if you want. The ones that won’t fit on the BB give detailed information on tools and procedures used to conduct an energy audit.

audit1.pdf (252 KB) (162 KB) (183 KB)

study_guide.pdf (25.3 KB)

Standard_on_Comprehensive_Energy_Assessment.pdf (41 KB)

Hope this helps.

Scott, John and Scott, thanks, I will read through all that good info.

Gary, instead of calling it a energy audit try call it a heat loss/air infiltration survey.