Energy Audit
Tuesday February 24th 2009, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Drivel

Puget Sound Energy is currently offering a trial program where they will do a 2-3 hour careful examination of your home’s most private of areas and give you suggestions as to how you can make everything more efficient and save some $ on your energy bills – all for the bargain-basement price of $95.  I just had mine performed today, and survived to tell you the gory details.

Upon arrival, Dude explained the process and did a quick walk through of the house to understand the current situation and to let me express concerns I had about the house.  He then set up a sealed-door blower in the front door, to suck air out of the house, creating negative pressure, which let cold outside air come into the house through the various small leaks.

Methodically going around the house, he viewed every square inch through an infra-red camera, which showed the hot and cold spots.  Cold spots with clean edges represented places where insulation was lacking, and cold spots with streaked edges indicated air leaks, which you could easily confirm by sticking your hand on the spot.  You wouldn’t normally notice the air leak, since you don’t usually have a high negative air pressure in the house.

Areas which were leaking in our house were:

  • Chimney clean-out panel
  • Electrical breaker panel
  • Trim around windows
  • Baseboard trim
  • The giant hole in the wall from when I once considered fixing some plumbing

Dude pointed out areas on the ceiling where the rafters did and did not have insulation piled on top of them.  Real easy to fix, simply by adding just a bit more insulation, or just evening out what is currently up there.  He also explained how to fix the other various leaks.

Last, he went around and replaced every single incandescent light bulb with the proper CFL bulb (19 total bulbs, some spiral, others look like regular bulbs), and replaced the shower head with a low flow one (~40% more efficient, and has massage mode!)

After the excitement died down, he pulled up graphs galore of our past 2 years of gas/electrical use, and the expected annual cost savings which could be achieved by fixing various things – more attic insulation $44, wall insulation $20, crawl space $9, air leaks $200, CFL bulbs $?, and some other things which I have since forgotten.  Luckily, he’ll be emailing me a copy of the entire report, along with pictures from the IR camera.

In conclusion, I think it was a pretty swell deal, and I recommend you go sign up too.

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