I live in Waimea, and I get it...we take our homes for granted. We assume that everything is operating smoothly in our homes. While some home performance issues are obvious, others hide beneath the surface.
For this and many reasons, I recommend that all Hawaii (I work all over the islands) homeowners take advantage of the home energy audit process—the fastest, most direct route to a more comfortable, energy-efficient home.
What is a Home Energy Audit?
Think of your home as a car. When you drive a new car off the lot, you expect it to run for years without serious issues...but maintenance plays a role ("oil change every 3000 miles" anybody?), and when it's overlooked, problems pop up. Even small issues can affect other aspects of the vehicle, which can eventually lead to serious problems that may or may not be fixable.
An energy audit is like a visit to the mechanic (or doctor). It provides us with all the information we need in order to come up with a list of recommendations that will make your home more energy-efficient, comfortable, and healthier.
What Should I Expect?
An energy audit takes several hours. I start with a complete walkthrough of the home, which you’re encouraged to join for informational and educational purposes, and bad jokes. From there, I'll perform a battery of tests that might-include-but-aren't-limited-to:
- a blower door test (measures whole-house air leakage)
- zonal pressure diagnostics (to measure amount of "separation" between conditioned and unconditioned spaces)
- total external static pressure (to see how the AC is performing)
- infrared scan
- combustion safety & carbon monoxide tests on combustion & cooking appliances
- temperature split (another AC system test)
- bath fan flow testing
- cooling block load (Manual J calculation, assesses the suitability of the AC for the space, looks for over/undersizing)
- visual inspection of property, including attics and/or crawlspaces (this is where building performance issues typically hide)
- visual inspection of AC system
- examination of likely high electricity consumers, like refrigerators
These all help pinpoint where energy loss is occurring and play key roles in solving the problem.
Once we’ve completed the home energy audit, we’ll put together a list of recommendations for work that can be performed to get your home operating at peak capacity. I’ll work with you the whole way through, prioritizing upgrades based upon your budget and needs.
Once the work is done, you'll see a number of benefits, including:
- Better Indoor Air Quality
- Reduced Energy Bills
- Enhanced Home Comfort
- An Increase in Home Performance
- Safety and Peace of Mind