Energy Analysis

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A Home Analysis can help you assess how much energy your home uses, pinpoint where energy loss may be costing you up to 30% of your utility bill, and identifies tasks you can take to improve efficiency.  A Home Energy Analysis can determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems, ways to eliminate drafts and cold areas, and determine ways to conserve hot water, electricity, and heating fuel.

A home energy analysis is the first step to:

  • enhance energy efficiency
  • lower utility bills
  • increase comfort of your home
  • reduce CO2 and improve the environment
  • provide a more healthy home

EnergyWize looks at your home as a system, a living envelope, inspecting and discovering the best ways to improve it.   For example, when most people think of improving their home they add insulation or replace expensive windows, however usually the culprit is air infiltration, robbing you of energy.  Insulating may or may not be the most cost effective way to provide more comfort or cut energy costs.

To analyze your home we use the following test equipment and techniques:

  • Blower door test -  A blower door is a variable speed fan, mounted in a doorframe, used to pressurize and depressurize a house to measure the extent of air leaks and points of infiltration.
  • Infrared camera - An infrared camera shows surface heat variation which reveals areas of hot or cold energy losses and air leakage in buildings.
  • Utility Analysis  - A unique offering is our ability to review home utility bills, analyzing them for  your use of energy, the impact of temperature, and how to identify potential problems.

Audits alone don't save energy – once trouble areas are identified we offer our recommendations and service to correct the problems.  EnergyWize is a single source for identifying and fixing energy problems, limiting your need to find qualified contractors while offering a stress-free and efficient upgrade.

Common Home Energy, Comfort, and Health Problems

  • High Utility Bills
    High utility bills for heating in the winter and cooling in summer can often be traced to air leaks (air infiltration) wasting up to 30% of your home’s energy. There are several items to be checked to limit the escaping energy (see Common Air Leaks below).
  • Drafty Areas or Rooms and Cold Winter Floors
    Cold air flowing through your house can be caused by air leaks in many places including basement, crawlspace, drain pipe chases or around window causing rooms to feel drafty and uncomfortable. Lack of insulation in walls, at the end of floor joints and under sill plates can cause cold floors and walls.
  • Frost or Fog on Windows
    Air leaks around windows or high indoor moisture levels from other air leaks can cause condensation, frost, or pools of water on windows and sills.
  • Mold, Mildew or Musty Odors
    Mold and mildew caused by water leaks, high humidity, and damp basements lead to wood rot, structural damage, peeling paint, and a variety of health problems.  Mold destroys a home’s value and can be very expensive to remediate. A damp basement caused by moisture migrating through the foundation increases indoor humidity and can promote the growth of mold — resulting in unsafe living conditions.  A properly sealed and insulated home resists mold because moist air doesn’t infiltrate. Closed cell insulation retards moisture because the cells are tightly packed together.
  • Icicles and Ice Dams
    Without good attic insulation warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and warms the underside of the roof causing snow and ice to melt and then refreezes as it runs off your roof — forming icicles and ice dams. Leaks from these formations can drain back into the house causing damage.
  • Brick Cracking or Chipping and Paint Peeling
    Bricks breaking or cracking and exterior paint peeling can be an indication of moisture and humidity problems.
  • Hot or Cold Rooms
    Differences in room temperatures are caused by inadequate insulation, air leakage, poor duct performance, and improperly installed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  Sealed and insulated ducts can decrease heating and cooling costs as much as 20 percent.
  • Dry Indoor Air in Winter
    Air leaks in your home allow warm humid air to escape and draw in drier colder air.
Energy Loss diagram
Click to enlarge

Net Energy loss and consumption is determined by a wide range of factors.  There is much more to your heating and cooling system than just a furnace and air conditioner.

A key part of improving a home’s energy use is focusing 3 major areas of reducing the air leakage and stopping waste.  

  • Sealing air leaks and adding insulation to the entire building envelope.
  • Improving heating and cooling delivery systems including sealing ductwork and air flow.
  • Helping to manage the lifestyle of the occupants and inside temperature.   The discipline and control of not wasting energy or the automatic control of managing energy via automatic thermostats, light & motion sensors, energy data recording, or the greatest use of an energy device – a light switch - is key.  A one-degree change in a thermostat can lead to a 3 percent difference in energy use.

 

It can be confusing:

U factors, R factors, COP and SEER ratings, Kwatts, BTUs, Window rating stickers are just a few of the confusing items to understand -  The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)

What do all the numbers mean?

EnergyWize can help you make sense of it all and offers the help you need to increase your energy efficiency, save money, and provide a more environmental friendly and healthy home.

The EnergyWize process of first performing an Energy Analysis, identifying and understanding your energy losses and then implementing a Weatherization Retrofit upgrade is key. Our retrofit processes execute the needed fixes and changes using qualified technicians and years of construction experience.

 

 

Weatherization

Once a Home Energy Analysis targets specific energy waste the weatherization process begins. EnergyWize weatherization process includes:

  • utilizing years of home remodeling and construction experience
  • use of variety of technology and techniques to determine your energy inefficiencies
  • implementing tried and true methods to eliminate wasted energy

Once an analysis of your home is done a personalized plan is presented reviewing your energy loss along with a list of corrective measures to improve your comfort and reduce your energy costs.   Our construction background offers insight into the best ways to resolve any issue. We have available HVAC, insulation, spray foam, electrical, mechanical, and building construction crews to meet your specific needs.

Most of a weatherization process is focused on air infiltration, especially around doors, windows, vent pipes and chases, bandboard, top sills, and wiring that penetrates the ceiling and floor.  Using various foaming and sealing products and processes we seal your home then utilize more traditional processes such as insulation in attics, walls, floors, crawl spaces, and basements, installation of automatic thermostats, more efficient lighting, addition of power saving devices, and maintenance or upgrade of HVAC systems and appliances.

EnergyWize Services include:

  • Home inspection with state-of-the-art equipment
  • Utility bill analysis and simulation to offer direction for corrective measures
  • A personalized listing of energy improvement recommendations specific to your home
  • Offering services to resolve your issues that make you more comfortable and lower your energy costs