What does the comprehensive energy audit and wellness exam consist of?
Every Ocean State Energy Audit is a thorough examination of all the components that affect the efficiency of your home. This systematic approach looks at your home as a system and takes into account how every change will in turn affect other functions within that structure. This specialized analysis of your home's systems will generate a report that pinpoints which measures make the most economical sense in order to : improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling dollars and, the overall comfort of your family, as well as health and safety concerns.
Blower Door Test:
The first major diagnostic test is the Blower Door Test. It is a computer operated fan that fits into a doorway. It draws air out of the house causing the home to "depressurize" to a known pressure. The computer then calculates the air volume needed to achieve that pressure drop, which allows us to quantify air leakage. Comparing the leakage volume with the total volume in the home gives us an actual number to work with in regards to how much air sealing is recommended.
It is during this test that we will pinpoint air leaks in your home using "smoke sticks" to find drafts as a result of the depressurization of the home.
Remember the manhole cover analogy? This is how we figure out how big of a "hole" is in your house.
Thermal Imaging Camera:
A thermal imaging camera is a valuable tool that shows images in the form of temperature differences. This allows the auditor to see drafts, missing or ineffective insulation, and even sources of heat loss such as an uninsulated heat pipe. This camera allows us to see through walls and understand how the home is insulated, where air leakage occurs, and to locate trouble spots throughout the house. This process allows the auditor an in-depth look at every inch of your home that would not be possible to explore using conventional methods.
Building Envelope Inspection:
The building envelope is the separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building. It serves as the outer shell to protect the indoor environment and also facilitates its climate control. Understanding the building envelope includes a knowledge of structural integrity, moisture and temperature control, as well as control of the air pressure boundaries. The control of air includes movement of air through the components of the building envelope as well as into and out of the interior space. This air movement can affect building insulation greatly.
Common measures of the effectiveness of a building envelope include physical protection from weather and climate, indoor air quality, durability and energy efficiency. In order to achieve these objectives, all building enclosure systems must include a solid structure, a drainage plane, an air barrier, a thermal barrier, and possibly a vapor barrier, as well.
Mechanical Systems Evaluations and Combustion Safety Testing:
After studying the air tightness and thermal envelope of your home, Ocean State Energy Audits will turn their attention to your mechanical systems. In addition to ensuring the efficiency of the systems, making sure that the combustion gases are venting properly is very important to the health and safety to you and your family. Especially in cases where air-sealing is recommended, the quality of the air in your home must be evaluated.
The thermal image reveals that, while the window itself is not leaking air, it was not properly sealed and insulated when installed thus leading to air leaks.
Building Envelope Inspection
Mechanical Systems Evaluations and Combustion Safety Testing