For information about our energy audit process, take a look at our YouTube video, What is a Home Energy Audit? -where Rich Dexter walks you through a real energy audit. You can also scroll down and see a detailed description of our process.

Here are some steps to explain what we do…

Step 1- Outside Perimeter Evaluation

Energy Audits, Clarksville, MD

A few minutes after arrival and introducing themselves, the Building Specialist will perform an outside perimeter check on the building. We evaluate the building’s shell and landscape to identify potential energy loss, moisture and safety concerns. We will inspect chimney and vent location and conditions when possible. Evaluate the roof /window shadings and determine the cardinal direction each side faces.

Step 2- You talk-We listen

Once inside, we would like to take some time to ask you more questions about your reason for the audit, your concern, any building retrofits and get a good idea on how energy is used in your home (i.e. How many times you use the dishwasher a week?) to help understand your behaviors and needs. This is a great opportunity to talk about the drafty and cold rooms in your house, share utility bills to determine usage better. We will then inspect the interior of the house, with you and your permission to evaluate potential moisture and safety concerns, air leakage sites and determining the thermal boundaries of your home. We will inspect and determine the efficiency of the appliance. We will note opportunities that will help you be more efficient with utility costs like lighting, thermostat controls, shading and moisture controls. We will also be measuring the buildings floor space and interior volume.

Step 3-Blower Door Testing

Energy Audits, Clarksville, MD
During the Comprehensive Audit, we are testing the air barrier and the house tightness. We set up the blower door and conduct a building depressurization test. In this test we use a calibrated fan that is set up at an exterior door. The fan will depressurize the house by pulling the air through the fan. When this happens, the leaks in the building will start to show by pulling air from outside to the inside. Sometimes the leaks are obvious in the house but more often they are hidden and we find them by using clues.

While the fan is running and collecting data, we will be looking throughout the house with our infrared camera, fog stick and other diagnostic equipment to test air pressures room to room.

 

Energy Audits, Clarksville, MD
The infrared camera can show a great image of temperature loss in areas like recessed lights, outlets, and windowsills by displaying a temperature range of the area in color or black and white. The hotter or colder the day, the more prominent the range will be on the image. The odorless fog stick can distinguish where air is penetrating by pushing a little smoke along an area like a windowsill and watching the fog smoke get quickly displaced at the leakage point. This is part of the audit where we love to have the homeowner participate and see the effects of this test. Our homeowners commonly exclaim phrases like “Holy Cow”, “Wow” and “Do that again” in their excitement. We will see leaks in attic hatches, closets, baseboards, plumbing outlets, electrical outlets and much more.

Energy Audits, Clarksville, MD
At the end of the test, we will know where your house leaks, how many times it changes air per hour and provide an initial estimate of how big the leak is by lumping all the holes into one. A good example of this would be that cumulative leaks in your house add up as if you has a 30×30 inch window open all year round!

Step 4- Top to Bottom Inspection

Energy Audits, Clarksville, MD

We start at the bottom (basement/crawlspaces) and work our way to the top evaluating the home. The top (attic) and bottom (basement) areas of the home is where the majority of savings can be found. This will require us to spend time carefully inspecting these areas. In the basement we will look for cracks,

moisture and areas of air infiltration. Where the frame of the house (sill plate, band/rim joist) meets the foundation of the building is the area of most air infiltration. Most of the time, we will see the need for air sealing and insulation around this area. If we do see evidence of moisture concerns we will examine to find out the source.

Energy Audits, Clarksville, MD

During the attic inspection we will determine air leakage by inspecting for proper ventilation, insulation levels and condition, duct work and vent pipe condition and ceiling seams between the drywall and interior/exterior walls. This can be a big culprit of energy loss. The attic hatch and whole house fans tend to be significant contributors to air leakage and we can provide solutions to those items. TIP-One of the best ways to determine if a house has good/adequate insulation from the outside. Whatever roof on the block that has snow the longest, has the best insulation!

Step 5- Additional Testing

Energy Audits, Clarksville, MD
We also provide Combustion Safety and Efficiency testing of all combustion appliances, Appliance consumption testing and an HVAC diagnosis. The Combustion Safety and Efficiency test is performed by using calibrated combustion analyzers to evaluate equipment efficiency and safety. We test for back drafting, flame roll out, carbon monoxide and gas leakage. Our Appliance consumption tests will show you how much each appliance costs you to run for a month or year. We evaluate your HVAC (Heating-Vent-Air conditioning) equipment and water heater to make sure that it is running correctly and producing maximum efficiency.

Step 6- The Results

Energy Audits, Clarksville, MD
Our Building Specialists will analyze all the information collected from the audit and spend time entering the data in to our software program to “model” the home. The Building Specialist will then provide a report detailing the home’s performance in efficiency, safety, durability and health. Infrared images (Comprehensive Audit) will show the areas of greatest concern. The report will provide a list of recommendations to the homeowner in order of priority, payback and cost effectiveness in mind. The report is about 8-10 pages for an Efficiency Audit to 20-25 pages for the Comprehensive Audit and is downloaded to a CD for convenience while saving a few trees in the process. The report will be delivered within a week of the audit date.

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Testimonials

  • Rich at Home Energy HERO did an outstanding job for us in determining our energy inefficiencies and how to address them. Rich is passionate about what he does and it shows. His initial evaluation was thorough and very understandable. He worked with us after the initial analysis and was patient... Read More

    The Meyer Family
  • Being a home owner can be challenging. Being a first-time home owner can be even more so. Finding a good contractor can be like walking through a maze of darkened alleys. Confusing road signs promise vasts amounts of money returned to those who go the proper path. Rascals, scoundrels, villains... Read More

    The Forhan's
  • My 5 bedroom Colonial home is over 40 years old and in spite or recent siding and new energy efficient windows my house still seemed "drafty" Besides that, the wide strips of insulating weather stripping were falling apart and falling to the ground in the "crawl space" attic area. I began to get... Read More

    Charlotte
  • Hi! My name is Johnny Castle, and we just had our energy issues addressed thanks to Rich Dexter who oversaw the entire process. He is efficient, professional and a really nice guy. He tightened up our home at a whopping 30% reduction in air leakage! Our house is only 35 yrs old. He made it so... Read More

    The Castle's
  • This was an excellent experience from start to finish. Mr. Dexter was thorough in his evaluation and explanation of what needed to be done. He and his crew were prompt and efficient throughout the process.

    Ms. Klein
  • Home Energy Hero executed the insulation and air sealing in our home, and the improvement is remarkable. Our home was very leaky, and after the insulation remodeling, we are already experiencing a more efficient use of our home heating utilities.

    Chrissie B
  • The energy audit was very comprehensive, and all of my questions were happily answered as he went through the house. Home Energy Hero helped communicate the needs of the house properly to the contractor that did the insulation and sealing. After the home sealing, the retest was performed, the... Read More

    Steve
  • Not only did Rich provide excellent service for our family, he also tolerated my many questions. All around great experience and I'm glad that we finally found somebody we can rely on for any and all of our home repair needs.

    The Trout's
  • Home Energy HERO provided us with professional, courteous and efficient service. The owner personally comes to the home, providing a report within 7-10 days.

    The Von Rautenfelds
  • We just moved in to our new large home from a small townhouse in December. The first months bill from Pepco was $750.00 and we dreaded what would happen when winter really hit. Rich, the owner of Home Energy Hero, was the first person to respond to my request for a home energy audit. He... Read More

    Elissa
  • We had a lot of fun with Rich showing us how the various tools were measuring certain items. He was thorough, efficient and answered our numerous questions. He also helped us model geothermal retro fit savings per our particular building science.

    The Sokira's
  • Rich Dexter, owner of Home Energy HERO, performed an energy audit of our home late last Fall. The audit consisted of extensive air flow monitoring and heat leak sensing with an I. R. camera, plus courteous explanations at each step of the process. He pointed out numerous places where convective... Read More

    The Wilson's
  • Richard Dexter, the company owner performed the energy audit in my house, and then supervised insulation/air sealing work done by the contractor he recommended. I was very impressed with his thoroughness and professionalism. He spend about 5 hours during energy audit doing meticulous... Read More

    Michael
  • My name is Kevin O'Brien and I used Rich for a home energy audit and subsequent sealing/ insulation work in the last couple months. My goal was to understand my home efficiency prior to making a significant investment in windows (I was convinced I needed new windows since they were original to... Read More

    Kevin O'Brien
  • Thank YOU!!!!! You helped me increase the Miles Per Gallon on my house by 30%! Thank you.

    Dan
  • I recommend Home Energy HERO to anyone interested in lowering their utility bills and finding leaks in their home. They used some very cool equipment and the infrared camera scanning was real eye opening. Thanks for the audit and I will let you know when you can retest me.

    Kevin
  • I recommend Home Energy HERO to anyone interested in lowering their utility bills and finding leaks in their home. They used some very cool equipment and the infrared camera scanning was real eye opening. Thanks for the audit and I will let you know when you can retest me.

    Kevin
  • Nothing escaped him. He was very thorough and did an excellent job. He advised us to seal our ductwork, which he tested as "very leaky." He was there during the whole sealing process ensuring that everything went well. We reduced our duct leakage 87% and very happy with the outcome. I would... Read More

    Mr. Prandoni
  • We really appreciated the audit done by Home Energy HERO! While he worked, he explained everything that he was doing and was extremely helpful in guiding us on how to take care of our home. The results provided to us were not only timely but comprehensive, as well. What we appreciated the most... Read More

    Mrs. Earp
  • Thank you for the audit and the recommendations. The ac company that you referred was prompt and professional. With the tax rebates they explained to us I think we can move forward with the work. I knew that my ac unit was old but didnt know it will cost me less to replace it than keep it. I... Read More

    Robert
  • I have used Home Energy Hero and was pleased at the professional service provided. Their knowledge of home energy leakage and mitigation techniques were very helpfull. I will be saving 30% off next years electric bills. I highly recomend their services to those interested in an energy audit.

    Charles