What happens here?

What happens here?

Buildings, energy, energy policy, indoor air quality, problems, triumphs, successes, failures and the people and processes that affect them.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The energy auditor has seen houses messier than yours. Let her look under the sink :-)

It's a common problem. I get to a house, we start going through the building and then I reach for the cabinet door. I always say "may I?" but usually the answer is a question; "Do you have to? It's such a mess."

Let's go to the pictures:

The first image is what I am interested in. This particular image was taken before I started the blower door. There is a lot of cold air coming in and that's a very, very important thing to find.

This is the visible image taken simultaneously with the IR above. Some people might see a slightly messy storage cabinet; I see a place where air is leaking and a place that needs to be checked for water leaks as well. This one is is probably slightly neater than average, but I don't know or care. Really.

When an energy auditor comes to your house take heart. We have all seen some really messy (and dirty) houses. As long as I can get to the places I need to and see what I need to see your house is fine. If you don't have time to make your house look like a magazine layout don't worry. I don't talk about my customers housekeeping and my conversations with other auditors have never been about messy houses.

That eliminates that as an excuse, but there are things you can and should do to prepare for an audit.
  • Make way to attic hatches. Often these are, inexplicably, in closets. Please at least remove enough stuff so I can get to it.
  • If you have a duct system I need to get to all the supply and return registers. If you feel warm or cool air on your feet when sitting on the couch there might be a register under it.
  •  I need to be able to close all windows, exterior doors and skylights.
  • If you have a wood, pellet or coal stove or boiler/furnace it need to be out and fully cooled when I arrive. Otherwise I will not be able to do the pressure testing that is so critical to evaluating your house. If these are your only source of heat we should reschedule to a warmer time of year.
  • Please be home at the time of the appointment. I will be on time because I want to have the opportunity to meet you and discuss what I'm seeing with you. If you want your contractor to be present too I'm comfortable with that. If you are using another auditor please check with them on this.
That's about it. When we are talking on the phone prior to your audit I will ask some questions to find out if any other preparation will be needed.

Your house doesn't need a complete spring cleaning to schedule an audit. I think I can do enough good for your house(and you) that a little embarrassment is a small price to pay. But don't be embarrassed. Just call, I'll like you and I promise the state of the house won't make a difference.

Comments or questions? put them in the box below.

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