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Back Home Energy Energy auditing

Energy auditing

Description

Energy-AuditAn energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis ofenergy  flows forenergy conservation in a building, process or system to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output(s).

home energy audit is a service where the energy efficiency of a house is evaluated by a person using professional equipment (such asblower doors andinfrared cameras), with the aim to suggest the best ways to improve energy efficiency in heating and cooling the house.

An energy audit of a home may involve recording various characteristics of thebuilding envelope including the walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, and skylights. For each of these components the area and resistance to heat flow (R-value) is measured or estimated. The leakage rate or infiltration of air through the building envelope is of concern, both of which are strongly affected by window construction and quality of door seals such as weather-stripping. The goal of this exercise is to quantify the building's overall thermal performance. The audit may also assess the efficiency, physical condition, and programming ofmechanical systemssuch as the heating, ventilation, air conditioning equipment, and thermostat.

A home energy audit may include a written report estimating energy use given localclimate criteria, thermostat settings, roof overhang, andsolar orientation. This could show energy use for a given time period, say a year, and the impact of any suggested improvements per year. The accuracy of energy estimates are greatly improved when the homeowner's billing history is available showing the quantities of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, or other energy sources consumed over a one or two-year period.

Some of the greatest effects on energy use are user behavior, climate, and age of the home. An energy audit may therefore include an interview of the homeowners to understand their patterns of use over time. The energy billing history from the local utility company can be calibrated usingheating degree day andcooling degree daydata obtained from recent, local weather data in combination with the thermal energy model of the building. Advances in computer-based thermal modeling can take into account many variables affecting energy use.

A home energy audit is often used to identify cost effective ways to improve the comfort and efficiency of buildings. In addition, homes may qualify for energy efficiency grants from central government.

Recently, the improvement of smartphone technology has enabled homeowners to perform relatively sophisticated energy audits of their own homes. This technique has been identified as a method to accelerate energy efficiency improvements.