How much is an energy audit?

Most of the calls we get start out with:  How much is an audit?  Swiftsure Energy offers several levels of energy auditing.  At issue, is what depth of an audit is needed?  Some homes will only need a simple inspection – usually this is free!  Other homes may need a full blown audit and some intensive troubleshooting in order to solve their comfort problems.  So what is the best way to find out what level of audit you need?

Here are some levels of the “auditing ” we offer:

  • Free inspection & initial consultation
  • Blower door test
  • Duct Blaster test
  • HERS rating
  • Thermal imaging
  • Combination & custom fit packages

You can usually start with a simple inspection.  Have copies of your recent utility bills ready.  Be ready to explain what you believe the problems may be.  Do you know the history of your home?  What improvements have been made and when were they made?  Just knowing when it was built can make a big difference.

Utility bills may reveal that your house is performing terrible and it may be obvious there are problems. Or, it may show that it is performing very well.  By using simple energy audit calculators that are available online, it is relatively easy to find out approximately how much energy you should be using.

A simple visual inspection may reveal many things.  We have found disconnected duct work, missing insulation, no insulation, holes in walls & floors and a myriad of other simple weaknesses that affect building performance.

Simple testing is usually next in line.  Testing the leakage rate of the heat/cooling ducts will document the effectiveness of these systems.  A blower door test can reveal how much air leakage the house itself has… if your house feels real drafty then this is the place to find out how much and possible where the leaks occur.

Software auditing programs are usually next.   This takes many factors from the building and computes the effectiveness of individual and entire systems within the house.   We can use this to calculate improvements, savings and the rate of payback. The testing and software is usually needed for any cash rebate programs available for improvements.

Another more revealing test to do is the thermal imaging or infrared camera work.  This can show hidden defects that cannot be found without disassembling structures!  This can reveal areas with no insulation, water leaks, reversed windows, air leaks and much more. 

Occasionally further investigation is needed to sleuth out less obvious problems.  This option could fill an entire manual…

At some point in the auditing process a list can be compiled that will recommend improvements or upgrades that can be done in order to make your home more efficient and resource friendly.  So, feel free to give us a call and be sure to ask – How much is an audit?!!!

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About Kent Mitchell

30 years in various construction positions. Currently specializing in residential energy efficiency and green building methods. Also I am a new online business student at BYU-I
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