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Thread: Energy Audit

  1. #1

    Energy Audit

    I was interested in having an energy audit performed on our house. Here in Iowa, Mid-American Energy will provide an energy audit for free if your house was built before 2000, which we do not qualify for, so I was debating paying for one.

    Called one company and through a three hour process, they will come in and hook a vacuum up to your house and via thermo imaging can tell you where you have air leaks, but he quoted almost $500 for it. Our utility bills for our 2500SF house usually run between $150 and $250 depending on the time of year

    I just wanted to see if anyone has had experience with an energy audit, if you thought it was worth the money, and if you actually saved money as a result of the audit.

    Thanks in advance,

    Wil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Mi
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    18
    I am interested in this too. I had someone coming out but canceled and never rescheduled. I was quoted $350. I am not to sure I want to know how crappy my new windows are might make me sick.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    phoenix
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    73
    I have had a couple of neighbors that have paid to have this done. The cost was subsidized by the local utility company. All three had "serious" issues found. All three of the companies offered to correct the "issues". One of the neighbors had everything fixed and then some (new solar hot water heater). The one neighbor who had everything done has not seen any reduction in her electrical usage. I can also tell you that the work and workmanship that I saw was sub standard, all the way around. But thats just my opinion.
    Now, your experience may be different, but all I know is what I have seen.
    On the other hand, I caulked, replaced weather stripping, added roof venting and had all flex duct removed from my house. Result, bills dropped by almost 25 percent and all rooms are now cool in the summer, where as prior to any changes, some rooms were hot.
    Take it for what its worth... I chose the common sense approach and the other didnt. I can tell you that I saved money doing all but the ductwork repairs myself. My approach was cheaper initially and I am now reaping the benefits each month. Again, take my opinion for what its worth.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by rbelisle1 View Post
    Clipped to save reading...
    Now, your experience may be different, but all I know is what I have seen.
    On the other hand, I caulked, replaced weather stripping, added roof venting and had all flex duct removed from my house.

    Result, bills dropped by almost 25 percent and all rooms are now cool in the summer, whereas prior to any changes, some rooms were hot.
    Take it for what its worth...

    I chose the common sense approach and the other didnt.

    I can tell you that I saved money doing all but the ductwork repairs myself. My approach was cheaper initially and I am now reaping the benefits each month.

    Again, take my opinion for what its worth.
    Well, I believe as a lot more begin doing audits - Home Audits will come down in cost.

    Audit costs need to be supplemented by Power Companies wanting to reduce peak-loads, etc.

    I congratulate you on your initiative & wish more home owners would learn what they can do to reduce their utility bills.

    If Home Owners have the knowledge & skills to do various forms of testing infiltration rates & locating leaking areas, then doing the cost-effective retrofitting, the end resulting savings could in some cases be similar to regular audits.

    A room T-stat that has various ways (temp-differential settings or cycles per hour, etc) to make the A/C perform longer cycles has the potential to considerably improve efficient performance.

    Knowledge has potential to translate into improved performance in every energy use reduction arena, including the home, duct system & equipment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    6,837
    Quote Originally Posted by ecuwil View Post
    I was interested in having an energy audit performed on our house. Here in Iowa, Mid-American Energy will provide an energy audit for free if your house was built before 2000, which we do not qualify for, so I was debating paying for one.

    Called one company and through a three hour process, they will come in and hook a vacuum up to your house and via thermo imaging can tell you where you have air leaks, but he quoted almost $500 for it. Our utility bills for our 2500SF house usually run between $150 and $250 depending on the time of year

    I just wanted to see if anyone has had experience with an energy audit, if you thought it was worth the money, and if you actually saved money as a result of the audit.

    Thanks in advance,

    Wil
    I've spent countless thousands on test equipment and educational expenses, all so I can perform energy audits on houses. That doesn't even count my decade of HVAC and plumbing experience. So just how much would you suggest I charge for a 2-4 hour test and presentation in your home?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecuwil View Post
    I was interested in having an energy audit performed on our house. Here in Iowa, Mid-American Energy will provide an energy audit for free if your house was built before 2000, which we do not qualify for, so I was debating paying for one.

    Called one company and through a three hour process, they will come in and hook a vacuum up to your house and via thermo imaging can tell you where you have air leaks, but he quoted almost $500 for it. Our utility bills for our 2500SF house usually run between $150 and $250 depending on the time of year

    I just wanted to see if anyone has had experience with an energy audit, if you thought it was worth the money, and if you actually saved money as a result of the audit.

    Thanks in advance,

    Wil
    I have had a bad experience with such an audit BUT would consider paying the price you mentioned for a high skill, honest audit.

    The problem I had, I think related to a company which priced its testing too low and would not make any money if they did not get additional jobs besides the audit. They told me I had 40% duct leakage, what they did not know is a prior blower door test reported 10% (and then efforts were made to find and fix leaks). After some unpleasant discussion and complaint to a higher authority, they agreed to re-do the duct test. Guess what? 10% was their new number.

    It is my opinion they had an unspoken agreement to fudge the "before" test, with the result they would look good when the "after" test was done. It is imperative to be honest with this, otherwise it borders on fraud.

    One bad apple does not represent a whole industry. Properly done, your audit is a highly skilled operation and warrants being paid as such.

    Best of luck -- Pstu

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    tn.
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    199
    you need a third party testing not tyed in with contractors but they could recommend people and get three bids let the tester give you a scope of work first.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Canada
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    59
    If the person performing a blower door test is qualified, how much of a difference can one see between two people performing the test - I guess my question is how standardized is the test, and is it easy to screw up the results ?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroboy View Post
    If the person performing a blower door test is qualified, how much of a difference can one see between two people performing the test - I guess my question is how standardized is the test, and is it easy to screw up the results ?
    Qualified, is the key! Two qualified people will get VERY similar results. Temperature and wind conditions will have an effect on the test.
    Make your expertise uniquely valuable.

    Make your influence uniquely far-reaching.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    phoenix
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroboy View Post
    If the person performing a blower door test is qualified, how much of a difference can one see between two people performing the test - I guess my question is how standardized is the test, and is it easy to screw up the results ?
    I am not an expert!! let me say that first!!

    As with any measurement, there are lots of variables. First is the ability of the person conducting the testing. Second is the calibration of the tools. Third is the interpretation of the test results and relating test results to the homeowner. Finally, last but not least, the honesty of the person doing the work.

    One of the comments above said that they got a second option and found a huge difference in results. If your truly serious about and energy audit, go with a stand alone audit firm and then have the testing done again by a second stand alone firm.. expensive yes... complete yes. Just my suggestion.

    Of course you can indeed make you own tests, fix what you can and then retest. Its not that hard or expensive. This is what I did.

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