Each home is unique in the way it has been constructed and modified over the years, and some problems can be more complex to diagnose. Are you just looking to upgrade your insulation and make the home air tight? Are you looking to get incentive money from your utility, such as Ameren Illinois’ ActOnEnergy program for upgrading insulation? Maybe the comfort problems are more complex and involve both the insulation and the heating & cooling systems? Do you have problems with water or moisture condensation that are not from an obvious source such as a plumbing leak?
Not All Energy Audits Are Created Equal
There are different types of energy audits available in Central Illinois. While they may be similar, they do not always cover the same topics. Some audits are simply a “clipboard” audit while others spend several hours with an array of diagnostic tools. Some audits include the use of a thermal imaging camera and blower door while others do not. Some include these tests but do not perform diagnostics on the heating and cooling systems. Even if you’ve already had a basic audit, you will likely benefit from one of EverGreen Home Energy’s more thorough options.
Schedule a free consultation to help determine which energy audit is best suits your needs by calling (309) 253-2242.
Click HERE for a PDF version of the comparison chart.
The Advanced Audit is geared towards homeowners who are primarily concerned with the performance of insulation and air sealing of the home—otherwise known as the building envelope. This audit focuses on areas the home is wasting energy by using the blower door test, thermal imaging inspection, and a detailed strategy for upgrading the insulation and air sealing. This does not involve testing the heating, cooling, and duct work systems, and does not create a strategic plan for all categories that impact energy usage. The Advanced Energy Audit includes:
General Visual Inspection
Similar to a home inspection, we will perform a visual inspection of all building features on the inside and outside of the home. Categories include roofs, gutters, downspouts, windows, attic, crawlspaces, ceilings, walls, basement, mechanical equipment, appliances, and lighting.
Building Envelope Diagnostics:
Will will perform a variety of tests to evaluate the current performance of the insulation while locating an measuring the air leaks in the home. This will include ceilings, walls, windows, attic doors, garages, and basements.
- Infrared Inspection—A thermal imaging camera will help evaluate the performance of the current installed insulation by measuring the surface temperature of walls and ceilings.
- Blower Door Test—The blower door is a fan installed in a main entrance of the home that will measure the drafts in the building and help locate them.
- Insulation (Whole House)—A combination of visual inspection and diagnostics will help us determine if any insulation upgrades will help improve the home’s comfort and efficiency.
- Investigate Air Leakage Locations—The blower door mimics a gentle 20 mph wind on all sides of the house at the same time. The procedure is the best way to literally find and “feel” the air leaks in the home.
- Zone Pressure Diagnostics—This test will tell us which rooms are more problematic for air leakage and help set priorities for the home.
Hidden dangers from carbon monoxide hazards and gas leaks may exist in the home. We will test all gas appliances to make sure they are not emitting dangerous gases or fumes into the home so they don’t present harm to the family.
Ventilation Testing & Calculations
Is that bath exhaust fan actually pulling enough air out of the room to remove moisture and contaminants? With the fan running, we can measure the flow of the fan to assess its performance.
Sometimes we can solve moisture problems to help prevent mold, condensation, humidity issues and leaks with the Advanced Energy Audit. You’ll get some moisture related feedback in your report if it’s applicable. However, more complicated sources need the additional diagnostic tests that are included in our Comprehensive Energy Audit. If moisture or water is a concern then you should choose the Comprehensive Audit to make sure we get all the data possible in determining the issue.
Test-In & Test-Out
All of our energy audits have a test-in and test-out built into the cost of the audit. We will repeat the diagnostics such as the blower door, infrared, and safety testing to confirm the results of any changes made to the home. It is quality assurance built into the home’s upgrades!
Utility Provider Incentives (not all homes are eligible)
There may be money available to help pay for certain upgrades to the home. Utilities such as Ameren Illinois and Nicor Gas have energy efficiency programs to help with insulation, air sealing, and equipment upgrades. Energy audits are often a required step of these programs, and your EverGreen audit includes all of the necessary steps the utilities require.
Report of Recommendations
Within a few days of your audit, you will receive our report of recommendations that will provide a road map of upgrades to the home prioritized by cost effectiveness, safety, and durability of the home.
The Advanced Energy Audit involves 4 to 6 hours onsite and you receive free phone/email consultations for as long as you own your home.
The Comprehensive Audit includes everything in the Advanced Audit and adds HVAC and energy efficiency measures. We take a comprehensive look at all systems in the home that impact comfort and energy usage and present a strategic plan for tackling the recommendations in phases or in one project.
While insulation and air sealing are very important in providing the comfort and efficiency of the home, the heating and cooling equipment must also be optimized in order to be effective and efficient. Most of the efficiency losses of a furnace or air conditioner involves air flow problems with duct work. We provide several diagnostic tests to troubleshoot these systems and identify the source of air flow issues.
- HVAC Performance Testing
Energy Efficiency Measures
Typically 1/2 of a home’s utility bill is used for heating and cooling. The rest of it is broken down in several smaller but still important categories such as water heating, lighting, and appliances. We will inspect these systems and make recommendations to optimize the performance for best efficiency.
- Water heating
- Water Conservation
It is important that every home and building can manage moisture both on the exterior and interior. There are a number of causes for moisture problems and high humidity in homes, and our energy audits will diagnose and solve the root cause.
- Water leaks
- Mold prevention
Utility Bill Analysis
For homes that have high utility bills, it is prudent that we take a look at a 2 year history of usage for electricity and gas. This analysis can help us spot trends in usage and help estimate the potential payback for various home improvements.
The Comprehensive Energy Audit involves 6 to 8 hours onsite and you receive free phone/email consultations for as long as you own your home.
The Premium Audit includes everything from the Comprehensive Audit and adds a duct leakage test to quantify the air leakage from the duct work before and after any home improvements are done. This is ideal for homeowners who are dedicated to home performance, to a sustainable and healthy home, and like data.
Duct Pressure Test
Our HVAC diagnostics (listed above) will help solve problems with air flow through duct work, but this test (duct pressure test) can quantify the leaks in the system. Is you system air tight, moderately leaky, or very leaky? This information can help prioritize any proposed repairs and quantifies the improvement during the test-out.
The Premium Energy Audit involves 8 to 10 hours onsite and you receive free phone/email consultations for as long as you own your home.
So, Which Energy Audit Do I Need?
Most people will choose the Comprehensive Energy Audit because they want the full analysis that includes the HVAC system, energy efficiency, and utility bill analysis but don’t need the duct pressure test. However, if you are wondering which level is right for you or want to know the cost involved, since it varies based on the size of the house. Call us today at (309) 253-2242.
Click HERE for a PDF version of the comparison chart.