I’m writing this post as a Project Envolve™ Ambassador. I have not been compensated for this post, but I did receive a promotional item to facilitate energy savings in my home.
It’s #ProjectEnvolve time again! I can’t believe it’s time for Mission 5 already. As usual, we’re still talking about ways to cut energy usage each month and reduce your electric bill. But this month, all I had to do was sit back, relax and let the PE team take care of the heavy lifting! They sent a building analyst over to my house to do a Home Energy Audit. You might be wondering what that is (I didn’t know either…)
What is a Home Energy Audit?
It’s a comprehensive diagnostic audit performed by a building analyst certified by the Building Performance Institute. The audit includes an examination of how much air is leaking in and our of your home, the condition of your hearing and cooling system and an assessment of the air quality including carbon monoxide and moisture conditions. Also includes are recommendations about energy-saving measures.
In short, our guy Steve gave our home a good thorough checking out and told us about every opportunity he saw to improve our energy efficiency.
He started out by installing energy-saving items like CFLs, smart power strips and faucet aerators. I was just a *teeny bit* disappointed that all we really needed was one power strip and (I think?) one light bulb. We were already in pretty good shape with all of that stuff!
Then he checked our furnace to see if there was any carbon monoxide – one of my biggest worries. (See friendly Steve? Everybody: “Hi Steve!”)
Then, the really cool stuff started. He created an airtight seal in our door and set up a huge air blower. This created a backdraft situation throughout the entire house so we could find anywhere that air was leaking. This was my favorite part – the rush of air felt like a big thunderstorm was about to roll in, and it really felt like the whole house was being aired out after the long winter. I need one of these as a permanent fixture!
(And, I may be dating myself here, but all I could think of was the end of E.T…see?)
While the air was blowing, Steve took the handheld reader thingee (that’s the technical name for it) and checked its infrared readings to see where air was rushing in. You can see by the dark blue in the photo at the top that we need to caulk our windows. In this photo below, you can see the other places we need to address: the cellar door, a poorly constructed, old window, and between some beams near the perimeter of the basement.
I’m not sure I can even tell you all the things that our analyst did, because I was chasing the baby and he was busy for 4 whole hours. But the good news is that I didn’t have catch everything. He provided a full report with detailed diagnostics specific to our home, and now we know everything we can do to decrease our energy usage even more. There aren’t too many things we needed, really, since we’ve already dropped our bill a lot these past few months, and our electronics usage is very low, but our big problem is insulation. Steve was able to tell us that the walls and ceilings in our house are not insulated, so we may be able to cut our heating costs if we want to invest in fixing that. Definitely something to consider, and overall, a very educational day!
How can YOU get a home audit?
If you’re interested in knowing specifically how your home can be made more energy-efficient, contact PPL Electric Utilities and sign up for your own energy audit!
Readers who visit ProjectEnvolve.com and subscribe to the mailing list will be entered to win a $50 Home Energy Survey! It’s sort of a “mini audit”, including a walk-through evaluation by a certified surveyor and some energy-efficient goodies. PPL Electric Utilities will choose 2 winners from all who subscribe to the mailing list before Monday, April 7th at 4pm.
BUT WAIT…there’s more!
You can even get the kids involved! Project Envolve has put together an entire Kid’s Energy Challenge to help kids start learning early about the importance of responsible energy management. My son is 4, and he had a great time with it (especially after our big audit day, which was “so cool.”) Just click on the robot below to access the learning activities, and be sure to share with your child’s teacher!