a slow and steady deep energy retrofit
making your home super
energy-efficient doesn’t have to be super
In order to take advantage of incentives like the Colorado ENERGY STAR Mortgage, we needed to have an energy audit done as part of the closing process, in order to identify the highest priority improvements. This was really fun for me since I've done quite a few energy audits in my day and we had a great auditor. I even guessed the blower door result within 50 cfm! Our utility, Xcel Energy currently has a $200 rebate (about half the cost) for energy audits. Energy audits vary in their composition, but usually include an inspection of insulation levels, heating/cooling system efficiency, utility bill analysis, and often a blower door test and thermal imaging. The photo above shows the red canvas blower door, which pressurizes or depressurizes a building in order to measure it's air tightness.
A thermal imaging camera (or infrared camera) can be a useful tool for identifying leakage locations or spots with missing insulation. In the image below, you can see that the ceiling joists are colder than the surrounding ceiling, suggesting that there is insulation on the attic floor, but that it isn't deep enough to cover the joists.
There wasn't anything too surprising in the audit report. The prioritized list of improvements is shown below. Topping the list is air leakage sealing, adding more attic insulation, and crawlspace wall insulation, so these will be our priorities in the coming months.
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a slow and steady
deep energy retrofit