Residential Energy Audits

The Condition Survey

This is our most popular service option for existing homes and residential buildings. Rather than focusing on a single component, such as single-paned windows, an old air conditioning system, or leaky ductwork, the condition survey takes a look at the house as a whole system. Improvements to all of its components can result in fewer drafts, consistent temperatures across rooms, better ventilation and humidity control, and lower utility bills. The survey is designed to help the homeowner understand how their home performs and explore options to address energy issues.

 The condition survey is carried out by:

RESNET Certified Raters

[As of 2008, the Residential Energy Services Network was the oldest and largest professional association of energy raters in the country. In addition, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) also provides training and credentialing for residential energy auditors.]

For over twenty years RESNET has been developing testing protocols and training energy raters. It sets the Energy Star™ standard for homes sought by the mortgage lending industry. In order to be RESNET certified, a rater must go through an extensive training program, pass a national examination, and complete energy audits on 6 homes. Only 25 people in Illinois are RESNET certified, six of whom are Informed Energy Decisions employees.

The process includes:

Infrared Thermal Imaging

We use a state-of-the-art Thermal infrared camera to detect where there is insulation, or where there is supposed to be insulation. (The infrared scanner in the photo on the right is our vintage model, now retired!)

Blower Door Test

By depressurizing your home, air is forced through any leaks in the building envelope, which we will detect and mark.

Comprehensive Home Exam

Includes testing of insulation, air tightness, windows, and HVAC systems.

Clear Course of Action

After examining your house from crawl space to attic, we sit down with you to review the problems we found and prioritize recommendations for fixing them based on urgency of the problem, budget, and ease of repair. Common recommendations include sealing air leaks and adding insulation, repairing leaky ductwork and poor air-flow, improving heating and cooling systems, upgrading lights or appliances.

The significant sources of energy loss in most homes are not the usual suspects like windows and doors. Rather they can be tucked behind walls, in attics, above recessed lighting fixtures or take the shape of equipment that is too big or too old. We help our clients understand the importance of their situation and diagnosis. Then, we lay out a cost-effective action plan that the homeowner can pursue with confidence.

If, after the Condition Survey, you want assistance with repairs, cost analysis or other questions, take a look at our consulting and certifying services.

A) Using a puffer to follow the draft by open ductwork B) The low-E detector checks whether a modern window is genuinely low E C)Our vintage infrared scanner was used to read the variations of hot and cold in the walls D) Condition Survey checklist prepared E) Blower door pulls air out of the house F) The infrared thermometer reads surface temperatures G) In protective gear for investigating the attic, checking the whole house fan. H) Checking the specifications of the boiler

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the boiler
Informed Energy Decisions © 2008