A home energy audit is a service where the energy efficiency of a house is evaluated by a person using professional equipment (such as blower doors and infrared cameras), with the aim to suggest the best ways to improve energy efficiency in heating and cooling the house.
An energy audit of a home may involve recording various characteristics of the building envelope including the walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, and skylights. For each of these components the area and resistance to heat flow (R-value) is measured or estimated. The leakage rate or infiltration of air through the building envelope is of concern, both of which are strongly affected by window construction and quality of door seals such as weatherstripping. The goal of this exercise is to quantify the building’s overall thermal performance. The audit may also assess the efficiency, physical condition, and programming of mechanical systems such as the heating, ventilation, air conditioning equipment, and thermostat.
Industrial energy audits
Increasingly in the last several decades, industrial energy audits have exploded as the demand to lower increasingly expensive energy costs and move towards a sustainable future have made energy audits greatly important. Their importance is magnified since energy spending is a major expense to industrial companies (energy spending accounts for ~ 10% of the average manufacturer’s expenses). This growing trend should only continue as energy costs continue to rise.
While the overall concept is similar to a home or residential energy audit, industrial energy audits require a different skillset. Weatherproofing and insulating a house are the main focus of residential energy audits. For industrial applications, weatherproofing and insulating often are minor concerns. In industrial energy audits, it is the HVAC, lighting, and production equipment that use the most energy.