Energy Audits - A primer:
This Department of Energy diagram shows how home performance is largely driven by unintentional air flows. Most insulation companies simply cover air leaks with fiberglass that does nothing to stop heat from escaping with flowing air. Home Performance Contractors strategically seal air infiltration points to optimize energy efficiency, air quality and comfort.
Not business as usual.
The vast majority of energy services provided to homeowners consist of product sales and installation. We are led to believe that if we just have enough efficient products, our house will function well.For someone wanting a more efficient home, it certainly seems reasonable to put in some insulation and buy a high efficiency furnace. However,
Your house as a system
A house is composed of various parts. Some of the parts, such as the heating system, use energy. Other parts, such as walls, serve to conserve energy. Many parts of a house have more than one function. Windows let daylight in while keeping cold air out. The various parts of a house do not function in isolation, but interact in complex ways. The effectiveness of a furnace in heating a home, for example, depends on the effectiveness of the home's insulation. The effectiveness of the insulation, in turn, depends on how much air leakage occurs through the home's surfaces. These interactions between parts of a house can negatively affect its comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency. The study of these interactions is called building science.
Home Performance Contractors
Home performance contractors are trained in the principles of building science and use specialized tools and instruments to diagnose and fix problems with a home's comfort, air quality and energy efficiency. Because these problems are often caused by the complex interactions described above, their solution is beyond the scope of most contractors, who specialize in only one component of a house.
Home Performance Retrofits
Home performance retrofits involves modifications to existing homes to address problems of comfort, air quality and energy efficiency. The process begins with a home performance audit, including measurements of air leakage, insulation levels, furnace and water heater efficiency, and so forth. Data collected during the audit is analyzed to determine the home's deficiencies. A plan is then devised to fix specific problems and to improve the home's overall performance.A complete retrofit may require modifications to more than one component of the house, due to the interactions described above, but these can be implemented sequentially as time and budget allow. The most cost-effective steps are usually performed first. When completed, the retrofit home is more evenly comfortable, has better indoor air quality, has reduced risk of mold and mildew, is less expensive to heat and cool, and makes a smaller environmental footprint.
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Snail mail: 41 West Main Street | Monroe, Maine 04951