Home Energy Audit Finds Holes in Home

HomeEnergyAudit Last December we published this post about having a Home Energy Audit done in your home. Our Yankee Gas service tech told us they were a great way to find out how energy efficient your home was, and they were very inexpensive at the time ($75 for Wallingford residents), so we applied to have one done in our home. Unfortunately, we misplaced the card they sent us to confirm the appointment, so we never got it done last year. This year, we made a commitment to have it done, no matter what.

So, after applying again and receiving the confirmation, two gentlemen from Competitive Resources, Inc., the company contracted by Connecticut Light and Power (CL & P) and United Illuminating (UI) to perform energy audits, arrived at our home on Wednesday, November 4th to determine how energy efficient our house was. The procedure – and the results – were quite interesting.

“You Cannot Leave This Place…”

Well, at least not once they install the Blower Door on your front door! But before that happens, they walk through the house and make note of several different things, including if you have fireplaces, how well your attic is insulated and how many incandescent light bulbs need replacing with the new CFL bulbs (you get 25). Once that is finished, they install the blower door and turn on the high speed fan to see what kind of air flow you have coming into your house. Here’s a look at what the blower door looks like:

Blower Door

They bring that fan in the lower part of the door up to speed and then read what the air pressure inside the house is on this meter:

Air Flow Meter

which measures air pressure in Pascals.  They bring the air pressure inside the house to CFM50 and then read what the airflow is through the house. Ours turned out to be 4735 cfm (cubic feet per minute), which is somewhat leaky!  While the fan is on, they go through the house making note of where drafts are felt, indicating air coming into the house in places where it shouldn’t be. They then turn off the fan, plug all the holes they can identify, and then repeat the airflow test to see how much the airflow has been reduced.

In our house, they caulked an entire small closet, patched holes under sinks, sealed window casings and doors and taped a large window air conditioner to prevent air getting in around the unit. After taking these measures, they performed the airflow test again and this time the reading was 4185 cfm, a reduction of 550 cfm, which is fairly significant. However, the reading is still indicative of a fairly leaky house, as this graphic shows:

Leaky vs Tight

As you can see, the reading we got of 4185 cfm at the end of our test falls into the “Leaky” column of this table, so it looks as though we still have some work to do. At least we got more informed about the process and our home’s air tightness. And there’s more good news…

If you remember, we were told that this test would cost $75, which is a pretty good bargain by any standards. We were pleasantly surprised, however, when the servicemen did not ask for any money at the end of the test! We called the company and they confirmed that, because Wallingford Electric had come up with additional funding for this project, Wallingford residents are given this service for FREE! So, if you’re a Wallingford resident, now is the time to call or go online to sign up for your free Home Energy Audit. You might just save a good chunk of money that you could put to good use somewhere else! It’s a good value for a couple hours inconvenience. If you live outside of Wallingford, ask then what your charge will be for the service.

Once again, the company that does the work is Competitive Resources, Inc., and you can call them at (203) 294-9677, toll-free at 1-888-403-3500, or go to their web site at http://www.hesprogram.com/schedule-your-installation.php.

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  3. John Barksdale

    These audits are a great idea for single family homeowners. However, a sad trend is emerging. The City of Austin enacted the Energy Conservation and Disclosure Ordinance (ECAD) for homeowners who sell their homes. If you own a condominium, a home newer than 10-years old or a manufactured home without a foundation, you are exempt from the ECAD. However, if you own an older home, you must submit the results of an energy audit to Austin Energy, – a utility monopoly, when you sell your home. The mandatory audits range between $100 to $300. Failure to submit an audit is criminalized by a Class C misdemeanor and a $2000 fine.

    I hope the Austin city council will strip the criminal provision from the ordinance, because it is the wrong approach.


    John Barksdale
    .-= John Barksdale´s last blog ..Why I resist the Austin Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) Ordinance =-.

  4. Post
    The Harriman Team

    Wow John, that’s some crazy stuff you have going on there in Austin! I don’t think energy audits should be mandatory, nor should noncompliance be a crime. I read your blog post and find it amazing that Nathan Doxsey says that not everyone is unhappy with the ordinance. Well, some people ARE unhappy with it, so they should be heard and their concerns addressed. Hopefully the amendment will be passed that removes the criminal aspect of the ordinance before someone gets mad and sues the city. But, maybe that would be a good thing…nothing like a lawsuit to wake people up to the BS that’s going on! Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!

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