The Value of a Comprehensive Energy Audit: Savings, Comfort and Safety

A professional energy auditor acts like a detective, poring over past utility bills and examining a homeowner’s “scene of the crime” in detail, looking for clues. The auditor takes note of problems such as condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms, excessive energy usage (electric, water and gas) and safety issues with

appliances or devices. This detail provides a baseline for the audit.

DwellGreen of Dallas, a certified energy and performance auditor and green building consultant, examines the current condition of a property and identifies improvements that save money, address safety, increase energy efficiency and improve quality of health and comfort in living areas. Focusing on four categories: energy consumption, water management, health and comfort, and structure and fortification, DwellGreen approaches the building from a whole system approach in making sure all components work efficiently together.

The outside of the home gets a look to determine its size, wall area and number and size of windows. A review of residents’ usage habits includes average thermostat setting, number of people and degree of usage, especially if anyone is working from home. This information provides the means for uncovering waste and finding ways to reduce household energy consumption.

DwellGreen offers three levels of energy auditing: essential, complete and comprehensive. An essential energy audit includes a detailed visual inspection of every part of the home, including doors, walls, insulation, appliances, lighting, HVAC equipment and the attic space. A computerized checklist referencing hundreds of audited items generates a detailed 10-to-15-page report for the customer that is available online through a personalized portal that posts repair and replacement recommendations in order of work sequence for maximum efficiency.

A complete energy audit includes all the work of an essential audit, plus a blower door test to identify leaks in the home’s atmospheric envelope; duct blaster test to diagnose duct leakage; and a thermographic infrared scan to evaluate the flow of heat through the home and pinpoint potential problem areas.

The comprehensive energy audit includes all work of the essential and complete audit, plus a nationally recognized benchmark for energy efficiency that is required for an Energy Star rating, the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index.

Sensitive instruments to measure pressure and infrared heat, infrared cameras, furnace efficiency meters and surface thermometers are tools of the trade to detect heat and cooling loss. Other important safety issues an audit can address include carbon monoxide, gas leaks, structural issues, mold, mildew and air/water quality. Addressing simple issues like rooms that are too hot or too cold, structural improvements for senior citizens or childproofing for young children can significantly improve quality of life and increase the value of a home. Solar panels, solar hot water, geothermal heat pumps and rainwater harvesting are environmental initiatives that DwellGreen can help with in addition to tuning current energy efficiency of a home or office building.

As a trusted advisor, DwellGreen works with the customer to set building performance goals, plans for improvements, savings and return-on-investment from improvements and the implementation of recommended projects through vetted service providers, all while making a positive environmental impact on the world we live in.

For a free phone consultation on an existing home or to schedule an onsite consultation, call 214-509-8582 or visit DwellGreen.com/Dallas.

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