Residential and commercial buildings account for approximately one-third of the energy consumption in several countries. Home and commercial building owners can identify ways to increase efficiency and save on energy cost by having energy audits performed by certified professionals.
There are essentially three types of audits or inspections: visual, basic, and comprehensive.
A visual inspection is a walk in the park, noting any obvious leaks and suggesting repairs. This is the cheapest and most time-consuming of the three options. It's also the least precise because it doesn't take into account any invisible areas.
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Basic audit for energy efficiency
A primary energy audit is a series of tests using specialized equipment that demonstrates the energy efficiency of the building. It deals with waste disposal, building envelopes, and HVAC efficiency. The data can then be used to decide on improvements.
This test reveals areas of energy loss that are invisible (between walls) or often overlooked (channels). It also addresses indoor air quality issues to ensure changes to the building envelope do not affect occupants.
Comprehensive analysis of energy efficiency
The overall analysis includes a detailed computer model of the house or building and its systems. This analysis produces a list of specific improvements and the benefits of each. Armed with this information, homeowners can create a comprehensive energy efficiency improvement plan.