Thursday, February 4, 2010

Green Thoughts: The Home Energy Audit

Friends. Beginning with this week's post about home energy auditing, we are happy to inaugurate our new Thursday feature called 'Green Thoughts'. Though healthcare is currently dominating ever other issues, cleaning and strengthening our planet is vital for guaranteeing a healthy and viable future. As such, we want to spotlight ways that Americans, individually and collectively as a society, can work to maintain and improve the long term outlook of our world. From home energy auditing, to novel recycling efforts, to renewable fuel research, people are working on a variety of different green solutions and we would like to discuss a few of them with you every week.

We are going to start off 'Green Thoughts' with some videos on home energy auditing and retrofitting. Having your home audited and retrofitted is helpful for (many reasons, but particularly for) three purposes: 1- Lowering your energy bills, 2- Improving the environment, and 3- Cleaning the air you and your family breathe. It is a complicated process, however, and I hope our videos help to simplify the steps for you and explain why this is such a necessary undertaking. Please contact us to submit any ideas for future posts and come back to every Thursday for more articles. Thanks!

Getting a home energy audit and making the according retrofits is a win-win situation for homeowners. They can improve their energy bills and decrease their energy foorprint at the same time. Basically, a home energy audit is top-to-bottom test of your house. From the attic to crawl spaces, auditors check for every leakage and inefficiency in your home. They want to make sure that your house is sealed- that the air circulating the living spaces is isolated from the air in non-living spaces and from the outside. If there are leaks you will have several issues. First of all, you risk leaking conditioned air out of your living area into the attic or outside. By doing so you waste the conditioned air from you AC or heating system, thereby having to over use those systems and use more energy. The other main issue of an unsealed home is that the leaks allow toxins and harmful chemicals from crawl spaces, attic insulation, and elsewhere, to get into your breathable air. So by finding the gaps and sealing them, homeowners can ensure that they are efficiently cleaning and conditioning the breathable air in your home.

We put these videos together for Edge Energy (, a local home energy company, to explain their work. Though Edge is going to use the videos for their own self promotion, we find that the videos are very helpful and educational for homeowners. The first video is about Edge's consulting (auditing) practices. Though Jason, the project manager with Edge Energy, doesn't go into detail on the specific tests of the audit (which the other videos will) he goes through the entire process, which includes much more then just finding the problems in your home (like helping you find out how to pay for fixing it). The second video is about the main test of the audit, the blower door and infrared tests. For this test, they put a large fan in your door which creates a controllable and constant air flow in your home. By doing so they can test how the air cycles in your home and use the infrared camera to find the gaps and weaknesses in your insulation, and more.

There are so many other ways in which the audit helps your home and several more tests included in an energy audit, such as duct and combustion safety appliance tests. We'll be posting more videos on these and other aspects of the audit process in the next few weeks, so please keep checking back every Thursday to see them. Go to Enjoy!

--Home Energy Consulting

--The Blower Door and Infrared Tests

Full Disclosure: EDGE Energy hired us, as Sum of Change not individuals, to produce several videos for them including the ones in this post. We have not been hired to distribute, recommend, or advertise for EDGE Energy, rather we are using these videos to explain a vital service and we appreciate them letting us do so.

Please come back to next Thursday for more videos explaining the energy audit and retrofit process.


  1. If you'd like to see what my own first energy audit was like, here is the link: I will be uploading the results of the second audit soon.

  2. Great information on home energy audits. In fact energy audit the preliminary step in cutting down your energy expenses.