When getting ready for a Home Energy Assessment there are a few things to think about as you prepare.
Always keep in mind that you are your home’s best advocate.
You live here you see and, more importantly, feel how your home operates every single day. All of this is valuable information as your Energy Auditor familiarizes himself with your home. Knowing the right questions to ask helps you maximize the value of the assessment. This can bring attention to issues that might not be as obvious on the day of your appointment. If you think of anything specific leading up your appointment write it down. That will help streamline your conversation and make sure that nothing goes unsaid. It is a benefit to you to ask us while we’re in your home. We’ll be able to answer questions a whole lot better while we’re inside the structure than we will once we’re on the highway.
Have documentation handy.
Utility bills are an invaluable component in determining your energy use habits and calculating the structure’s base load. The base load is all energy consumed outside of your HVAC system. This historical usage allows us to distinguish between energy use from everyday household appliances and devices verses your heating and cooling systems. Then we can isolate your HVAC system usage during the months they are used the most. If you haven’t been in your home long enough to accumulate usage data, it is often handy to have a copy of your home inspection report available. A simple glance at one of these can direct us towards problem areas in the home more quickly. By doing so we will get the most out of our time in the house. We want to have plenty of time to both identify problems and generate solutions while on site.
Prepare your house for the home energy assessment.
There are a few things you can do to have your home ready for us. In the winter months, clear out your fireplace and don’t burn for at least 48 hours prior to your appointment. During the assessment we will be depressurizing the home using a large blower door fan. This will pull air in from wherever it can, and fireplaces almost always allow for air movement. Even “extinguished” fires can have hot embers and ash hidden inside them. You don’t want those spreading through your living room, so please make sure it is clean.
It is also important to make sure that all the air vents in your home are accessible. For floor vents, please make sure that no large pieces of furniture are blocking their access. If vents are blocked, please bring our attention to them while we’re there. Ceiling vents are typically pretty easy to find, but make sure we have a clear path to get to them. This is also true of attic accesses. If you have a scuttle hole access in the top of a closet, make sure we can fit a ladder in to climb inside. If your access is a pull down in a garage please ensure that the foldable ladder can reach the ground unimpeded.
Additionally, if you have any pets in the home, be cognizant of their demeanors. We only hire “pet people” so if your critters are just attention craving we have plenty to give, but if they are protective or aggressive please make accommodations for them prior to our arrival. We will need access to every room in the home multiple times as we perform out tests, so simply tucking them away in a room isn’t always an option unless you have a kennel. Keep in mind that we will need to access your outside air conditioning unit and any crawlspace accesses which are often behind a fence or a locked gate.
Adhering to this short list will allow us to conduct the efficient and comprehensive energy audit that your home deserves. This will allow us to provide you with as much detailed information as possible.
Written by: Mason Wilder