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Home Energy Audit using Blower Door Technology
With ever-rising energy prices, homeowners trying to find ways to save money should consider our services. Many of the improvements that we will suggest are VERY easy to implement and will save more money than they cost. Keep in mind that insulation does not prevent the movement of air; if your house is leaking; the drafts will blow through and around your insulation greatly reducing the R-value of the insulation wasting energy and costing your money. Contrary to popular belief, most wooden windows with storm windows are fairly efficient and replacing them is usually not cost efficient from an energy standpoint. Replacing 10 light bulbs costs about $100 and should save you about $9 per month in total, that is a 1 year payback and itís a start but only a very small portion of the overall energy picture. In order to save energy, certain areas of the home should be sealed while other areas should be ventilated. Some areas need to be insulated while other locations need not.
  • Usually it helps to improve ventilation by adding ridge vents but the gable vents and attic fans should be removed or sealed.
  • The rafters should not be insulated but the ceiling joists should be
  • If the vapor barrier is on the wrong side you should remove it.
  • Do not seal the gable vents in the winter or the insulation will loose R- value.
  • Sometimes it is better to completely seal a crawl space and treat it as a conditioned area like a basement.
  • While the home should be tight, if it is too tight it could cause a carbon monoxide hazard
  • The attic should be ventilated properly or the moisture will affect the R-Value of the insulation.
Common mistakes that may actually increase your energy usage.
    Installing a humidifier instead of correcting the air and duct leakage.
  • Adding ridge vents without sealing or removing gable vents and attic fans.
  • Insulating rafters instead of joists.
  • Vapor barrier installed on the wrong side of the insulation.
  • Sealing gable vents in the winter
  • Ventilating the crawl space.
  • Insulating the area where the rafters meet the soffit
  • Sealing the lower portions of the house without considering stack effect (this may also create a carbon monoxide hazard).
  • Turning the heat pump up and down at night or when the house is empty
  • Insulating the attic without sealing air leaks first.
leakage areas

Although is appears complicated it is very simple, this is not rocket science.

Drafts and poor insulation result in unnecessary heat loss, some appliances are not as efficient as others. The question is, where are the improvements needed and what is most cost effective approach. Which repairs will pay for themselves and over how many months? Because heat always moves from hot to cold, many people improperly assume that the cold air they feel on their skin as they walk past a window on a cold day is air leakage, yet if they walked past the same window on a hot day they do not feel anuthing. More than likely what they are feeling is the conduction of heat from their arm to the cold glass because of the extreme variation in temperatures outside vs. inside (Delta-T). Conventional wisdom dictates that you should replace the windows for $5,000 or $10,000 but that may not save as much energy as just adding insulated blinds or heavy curtains. More than likely sealing air leakage on the perimeter of the home, adding insulation or replacing an inefficient appliance often saves more energy for a fraction of the price.

 
Energy Flow

We are not trying to sell anything, only helping you make a more informed decision about how to use less energy and reduce the cost/usage of energy.

The software that we use will calculate heat loss and determine the most cost effective approach to help you prioritize your repairs.
  • Our inspectors use a variable speed blower door to depressurize the home and measure the CFM @ -50 Pascals to quantify the air tightness of your home. This blower door technology is the easiest way to identify where where heat and A. C. conditioned air is exiting the house and also where cold or warm air is entering the house.
  • Under natural day-to-day conditions, a typical house has 1 ACH (Air Change per Hour
  • A "tight" house can be as low as .33 ACH or 1 Air Change every 3 hours
  • If all changes are implemented you should save an average of 20% on your energy bill every year!
  • Find out which improvements to make - the Tune-uP report will estimate the savings and costs of each potential upgrade; Do you really need those expensive windows?
  • Increase the comfort of your home - no drafts; better temperature control;
  • Increase the value of your home - each dollar spent on Tune-uP-recommended improvements may increase the future sales value by more than a dollar.
Call (302) 737-2070 to schedule a Home Energy Tune-uP®

 
The Four Easy Steps Of Home Energy Tune-uP®
Step 1 INSPECTION
A certified energy inspector examines and measures the home and finds all opportunities for energy savings.

Step 2 BLOWER DOOR
The inspector will set up a blower door that will simulate a 20 mph wind from the exterior. The inspector will identify and document areas of leakage.

Step 3 DETAILED ANALYSIS
Specialized software produces a Report which shows savings and costs for energy efficiency improvements and provides tips on ways to save more energy and reduce your energy bills.

Step 4 IMPLEMENTATION
MANY OF THE REPAIRS CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED BY YOU, however if you are not comfortable with a repair, the Report provides access to a database of contractors and access to other energy products and services.

We recommend that you use a seal up contractor to make repairs. However if you choose to do the repairs yourself make sure that you do not create any hazards. Air sealing activities should begin at the top of the house NOT THE BOTTOM. The bottom of the house is subject to the greatest negative pressures. Sealing only the basement areas while leaving the attic leaks intact can create enough negative pressure through stack effect to back draft furnaces or water heaters and also increase radon levels. Once you tighten up the house carbon monoxide detectors are recommended.

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO SELL YOU ANYTHING, ONLY PROVIDING YOU INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN SAVE MONEY EVERY MONTH. The report helps you determine which repairs are cost justified (save more than they cost over time). It includes information on the Streamlined (k) Limited Repair Program available to homeowners so that they can finance up to $35,000 for energy-efficiency improvements identified by their inspector.

You can perform one time repairs to your home or continue paying the utility and oil companies every month.

Tune-uP, developed by CMC Energy Services, was designed specifically for owners of older homes who want to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes, rather than grade them. With a more detailed Report, quick access to low-cost financing, a low price tag, All American Home Inspection Service is an excellent choice for owners or buyers of older homes. Since 1995, we have inspected over 6,000 homes throughout Delaware and Maryland are a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business.

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