"Performing a Home Energy Audit" online course

This thread is dedicated exclusively for those students currently enrolled in the InterNACHI course titled, “Performing a Home Energy Audit.

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to perform a full energy audit conducted on a typical house according to a national building performance technical standard, including how to identify and report on moisture intrusion in residential buildings.

And, in keeping with InterNACHI’s commitment to Continuing Education, this course is open and free to all members, and can be taken again and again, without limit.

Students are free to pose questions and comments here and join in the conversation with other students. The thread will be monitored by the course instructor.

Contact: Director of Education, Ben Gromicko ben@internachi.org

Inspector training courses: www.nachi.org/education.

Thank you.

1 Like

As part of the Energy Audit class, this is a photo of my water heater. It is 18 years old, original to my house. It is a 75 gallon, natural gas water heater, and the water supply is public. I have a whole-house water filter in my house, which has been in use for 18 years. It is amazing how much debris it captures, and may be the reason my water heater is functioning so well. The gas supply to the tank is black iron, there is a sediment trap properly placed, and the flame and draft are good.

This is a picture of a vent pipe going through the attic and roof. I am submitting this picture per the requirement for course “Performing a Home Energy Audit Course”. This vent was not sealed properly allowing air to escape. The person also got a little carried away with the nail gun when installing the flashing. Taking the courses relating to Home Energy has helped me during my inspections by reminding me to focus on a lot of little things that are easy to overlook.
r/
David

temp.png

Per requirement in the “Performing a Home Energy Audit” course I read two articles from the library. I chose “Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings” and “Home Safety for the Elderly” as I thought both articles would help me market in the Tampa area. The first article on Historic homes was interesting as it taught me some things I didn’t realize, like historic buildings are often more energy-efficient than modern construction. I plan to reach out to some of the Bed and Breakfast’s in the area and discuss possible Energy Audits. The second course on Elderly was important for me to read as Florida is a large retirement state. This article helped me to prepare a separate checklist to use on homes that I inspect for older clients. I would recommend both articles to everyone.
r/
David

https://goo.gl/photos/8Qp69ftmr1wD7bXf7
Link to image above if attachment doesn’t work.

This image shows an enclosure in the crawlspace that houses the water heater & furnace. Using this would be problematic for doing the CAZ tests. I think getting the pressure to change would not happen due to the vented crawlspace area. I will be checking with a BPI professional in my area to see how they deal with these. I have never seen this kind of enclosure and personally feel they would be more hazardous if there were a (heavier than air) gas leak as this 4X8 space would completely fill if there were no pilot or other source of ignition to cause an explosion much earlier.

  • Bob I enjoyed this course, and the insight into this process.

https://goo.gl/photos/8Qp69ftmr1wD7bXf7
Link to image above if attachment doesn’t work.

This image shows an enclosure in the crawlspace that houses the water heater & furnace. Using this would be problematic for doing the CAZ tests. I think getting the pressure to change would not happen due to the vented crawlspace area. I will be checking with a BPI professional in my area to see how they deal with these. I have never seen this kind of enclosure and personally feel they would be more hazardous if there were a (heavier than air) gas leak as this 4X8 space would completely fill if there were no pilot or other source of ignition to cause an explosion much earlier.

Article #1 - Review of “10 Easy Ways to Save Money & Energy in Your Home”

After seeing the BPI movies in this course, I wanted to see how the recommendations compared to some of the items looked at by the BPI inspectors.

I was amazed by 3 things in this article I had never heard of before.

  1. Wood/Pellet stoves are more efficient than furnaces
  2. Light Shelves
  3. Cooking Smart
  1. I would have been using wood stoves everywhere I lived had I known this, I always assumed they were very inefficient due to the amount of heat lost in the chimney/flue.
  2. Light Shelves, never heard of them. We have been exploring off-grid building ideas and wish to design something that makes the most of natural light. Up until now we have been thinking of the relatively expensive use of Light Tubes, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_tube. We’ll definitely look into using the easy & cheap addition of internal & external light shelves.
  3. Cook Smart, we actually already do all of this but I wanted to mention that most energy efficiency solutions focus on alternative materials or methods of building, I don’t see much mention of personal choices and changed behaviours of the inhabitants. This is a great thing in my opinion to do to encourage a shift in attitudes regarding energy use.
  • Bob

Article #2 - Review of: Energy-Efficient Mortgages

I felt this was an awesome article, that addressed several ways to finance using EEMs. I had never heard of Energy Star offering Mortgages (as EEMs). It did say that was still in development, but I didn’t see a date in the article indicating how old this information was. I’ll be looking into Energy Star EEMs, but it would have been nice to know how old the article was.

It’s interesting to note that the amount that could be financed was pretty decent but in comparison to the costs of energy efficient systems for homes, it’s relatively small. Solar collection & solar water hating systems cost as much as the house I grew up in. And back there, where houses can still cost less than 6 figures, I think the reason most folks don’t look into these loans is pretty obvious.

Thanks,
Bob

The attic space has a sufficient amount of insulation and ridge vent but no baffles are installed to allow for proper ventilation through the soffit into and through the attic space. This ventilation and air movement is essential in controlling possible moisture accumulation in the attic space. The ventilation also assists in resisting heat transfer into and out of the attic with the living space below. It is recommended that the home owner contact a qualified contractor to correct the problem.

Central Humidifiers

Humidity or relative humidity simply put is the amount of moisture in the air. Central humidification is a system that works with the central forced air heating system. The humidifier vaporises water and introduces it to the air flow from the heating system. In some regions it is important to increase the indoor humidity. If the indoors are to dry it can help promote the transfer of certain pathogens, cause dry skin and increase the likelihood of damage to wooden articles in the home. Over humidifying can cause an increase of airborne pollutants such as bacteria and certain fungi. It can also lead to the formation of mold and condensation within the home. Proper maintenance an control over the humidity can negate most of these problems.

Child proofing windows and stairs

Every year thousands if children are injured in house hold accidents involving falls. There are ways to help mitigate some of the hazard present in your home. Stairways are of major concern. A serious fall down stair cannot only lead to injury but quite likely death. One of the simplest and most effective methods to protect children from such a fal is the use of a safety gate. A safety gate is a portable temporary gate that is installs at the door way of a staircase that is locked in such a way that children cannot open it thus restricting their access to the hazard. Properly installed hand rails are also an effective safety measure. Be certain that the hand rail is not lower than 34 inches but no taller than 38 inches. The distance between the vertical rails should not allow a 4 inch sphere to pass between them. Another cause of serious falls is children’s access to open windows. The simplest and most direct solution is to be certain that there is no furniture or other objects that a child can climb onto to access an open window. There are also commercial locks and guards available to limit access to a window

The home was built in 1930 and had insulation added sometime over it’s life. The insulation has settled to below the top of the joists and has compacted. There are no baffles installed at soffit vents and some vents were blocked by the blown in insulation. Attic hatch door was not insulated and caulk needs to be applied to penetrations under the insulation.

little insulation.jpg
This picture illustrates too little insulation in the attic. The ceiling rafters are 2x4, making this approximately 1-2 inches of insulation. In addition, knob-and-tube wiring ran through the attic. The installation of additional insulation was not recommended until the wiring had been evaluated by a qualified electrician.

10 Easy Ways to Save Money and Energy is a helpful consumer-oriented article. It is a good introduction to get clients thinking in a more energy-conscious manner. It would be a good “leave behind” article following an inspection.

Bathroom Ventilation Ducts and Fans provides helpful suggestions for the reader concerning fans, defects associated with fans, the ubiquitous mold issue, and improper ventilation. Appropriate installation techniques are addressed at the end of the article. A good article to recommend to clients considering the installation of a bathroom fan.

Starting new courses with the goal of becoming a certified energy auditor in Florida. are there specific required courses to become certified or does my Certified Professional Home Inspector (CPI) cover energy audits?
Anyone?

On a recent home inspection, the inspector located the house’s gas meter near the exterior wall. Testing with a portable combustible gas meter showed that the connections did have a leak at the time of the inspection. Furthermore, the main shut off valve for the gas line is located next to the gas meter.

ipad pics 9-28-15 120.JPG

This a photo of an entryway. It appears there has either been some settling or a rotted floor joist due to water intrusion around door. There is a definite draft under the door causing both air leakage and water intrusion.

As per class requirements I have read two articles from the library. The article on safety brings up some good points. As an inspector, inspecting homes, particularly older home you never know what hidden dangers you may encounter. Who knows what past owner/tenants have had going on while living there. You should always have PPE with you and readily available, if not on when inspecting a home. Remember the ultimate goal is to go home to your family at the end of the day.

This is a shot of a motor damper on a mid efficiency furnace. Due to the extreme cold winters in this region; some heating systems in the area install these motor dampers. This allows fresh air to be drawn only during the heating cycle instead of allowing cold air to spill all the time.
These need to be checked for operation when the thermostat “calls for heat”.

Inspection item:

Electric Water Heater:
Home is equipped with a GE 30 gallon electric water heater manufactured in December 2010. At the time of inspection the water heater was in proper working order.

Additional note: This home was inspected for a older single client. The home was a two bedroom, one standard bath in sunny Florida. Home was equipped for a washing machine but had no dishwasher hookup. If this was a large home that was going to have multiple occupants it may be helpful to note the size may be inadequate for the homes needs and they may want to plan for a upgrade.

Keeping my education up to date.