3. Review Your Home Energy Audit Report

The Home Energy Assessment Report looks at the different systems in your home to pinpoint energy-savings opportunities.

Building Shell

How does your home stand up to the weather? Assessing its building shell will let you know. That’s everything from insulation, windows, cracks, crevices, foundation gaps and weather stripping. The report will highlight areas where air escapes through poorly sealed parts of your home like windows and attic accesses.

The results of your Blower Door Test include a measure of your home’s air leakage expressed as the number of air changes per hour (ACH). A well-sealed home will have approximately seven air changes per hour under 50 Pascals of pressure. So when energy upgrades are installed and the blower door test is repeated at the Quality Review, you will be able to compare the number of air changes per hour against the benchmark from your assessment.

Mechanicals:

Are your heating and cooling systems true performers or just stand-ins? You’ll find out how well they perform along with a benchmark of their efficiency. Depending on your heating system, your Contractor may include one or more of the following metrics in your report.

• Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): AFUE measures thermal efficiency of combustion appliances, such as gas furnaces and hot water heaters. In geekspeak, it’s the ratio of heat used to actually heat your home or water vs. the total energy consumed to run the appliance itself. For example, an AFUE of 80% means that 80% of the energy used in the fuel actually heats water or a home while the other 20% escapes through an exhaust system. The air you pay to heat should at least stay in your house! Today’s high-efficiency gas furnaces can achieve 90 or even 95% efficiency.

• Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): HSPF measures the efficiency of air-source heat pumps. Sometimes a heating system can be really effective at heating, but not very efficient and therefore costly to run. The higher the HSPF rating, the more energy efficient your heat pump is running. Energy Trust of Oregon recommends an HSPF of 8.8 or greater.

• Coefficient of Performance (COP): COP measures the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. For example, a heat pump with a higher COP rating consumes less energy than a heat pump with a lower COP. The higher the COP rating, the more energy-efficient the appliance. COP can vary widely depending on the type of system. Ask your Contractor or Energy Advisor what a good COP is for your system.

Breakdown of Utility History:

Find out how much of a “plug load” your home demands when running major appliances, such as heating, water heating, fridge and washers.

Health and Safety Inspections:

Your gas-fired hot water heater and furnace will get a serious safety check to ensure they are working and ventilating properly. For example, these tests will identify whether flue gases are backdrafting into the home or ventilating properly and safely.

Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ): CAZ tests natural gas, open-combustion appliances to ensure that the exhaust they emit ventilates properly. CAZ also tests for carbon monoxide and traces gas lines from your house and gas meter and to the street connection for leakages. Combustion gases that are not completely exhausting to the outside could create health risks. The CAZ will identify trouble; your Home Energy Remodel will make your home safe.

Discuss any questions you have about your report or the recommendations your Building Analyst has made with your Building Analyst. Your Building Analyst will give you a comprehensive list of all the things in your home that could be done to improve its energy efficiency, safety, and durability.

 

6 Steps to Health, Comfort, Savings and Value with HPwES:

1. Choose a Contractor.

2. Prepare Your Home.

3. Review Your Home Energy Audit Report.

4. NEXT: Receive/Review Your Custom Bid.

5. Work Begins.

6. Test-Out and Quality Assurance.