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Energy audits: Special Service Offer - Winter, spring and fall are the best time for an energy audit in Michigan

    Let us perform the most useful energy audit for your needs. We charge hourly, and within an hour or two we identify your best energy and cost savings options and opportunities.  Most clients feel confident they do not need to have us perform our full and costly engineering analysis. Our guarantee: We won't waste your time or money.

Energy audits: Pros and Cons

    Fine Homebuilding's January 2009 issue, (#200), has an informative article about energy audits, " Every House Needs an Energy Audit.  Fine Homebuilding indicates there are two types of energy audits, learned assessment and the scientific approach. They mislabel the learned assessment method as "unscientific" and the other as "scientific"  They are wrong and they missed the third type critical to a successful audit. You may feel an extensive "scientific" energy audit is what you need, Most of our clients initially felt likewise. I too was so fooled 15 years ago when I started auditing.  But everyone in the end finds that using a qualified energy auditor using a mixed and knowledgeable approach saves the most money both for the audit and the energy saving repairs and adjustments. The third audit is of the occupants' life style - discussed further down.

    Both the learned assessment and the "scientific" approaches are fraught with errors that only a skilled energy auditor can overcome. Using a blower door in the "scientific" approach can be dangerous to occupants as the negative pressures suck pollutants and molds back into the house through the walls, attic, basements, crawlspaces, sewer, exhaust vents, etc.. Blower doors suck out the pilot flames of furnaces and water heaters, and draw carbon monoxide, grease, molds, moisture, and soot back into the building. The blower door measurement results quantify the total of air leakage of the building, but it does not answer how much of this air leakage is good or bad. A too tight home is potentially a hazard. A too leaky building wastes energy dollars. A properly leaky building is the best. Even the most green critic agrees.

    A skilled energy auditor knows the "scientific method" is fraught with problems. The use of expensive tools gives the appearance of being very scientific and accurate.  The unsuspecting public likes the "CSI" illusion, but ends up paying hundreds of dollars extra for a "science" show that may be wrong, sort of junk science if you will.  An honest and professional energy auditor should be frugal with the clients' fees by beginning with a learned assessment and only recommending further analysis that requires additional equipment, ( "scientific" approach) when cost justified.  The learned assessment done by a professional quickly identifies the major energy loosing conditions and energy saving opportunities, ie. "picking the low hanging fruit",   Picking the low hanging fruit provides the greatest payback to you.  But if you are designing an energy efficient home from scratch, talk with us.

    Using the expensive "scientific" method takes several additional hours using expensive equipment for little, if any, additional benefit, but we will be willing to take your money, Thank you.   The data and equipment looks impressive to the un-analytical eye. Blower doors measurements do not identify which of the multitude of leaks are critical to energy usage. Infrared data many times fails to identify the major heat loss problems caused by stack effect and occupant activity. HVAC duct leak tests with blower equipment are typically a waste of time in most Michigan homes since our leaky ducts are mostly in our conditioned living spaces where duct damage is readily observable and energy loss is minimal.

   Both the learned assessment and the " scientific" approaches fail to address the most significant impact on energy usage, the building occupants' and their lifestyle. Occupants can supplement or defeat the best energy usage plans and systems. A trained auditor's eye along with information about occupant activity in the building can result in the best balance of efficiency, effectiveness, and economy. Ultimately, this is what you want.

    Avoid unnecessary and costly tests. Talk and work with us first.  As with all professions, assessment and diagnosis is both an art and a science.  Expensive equipment and poor analysis cannot make up for a lack of skill and diagnostic ability. A professional assessment avoids drawing wrong conclusions from "learned and scientific" assessments. Heating system analysis is fraught with errors in balancing the building. The additional money spent on engineering measurements many times could have been money better spent to cure the problems. However, if you have a large high rise building talk to us as engineering may be needed.

    At Awfully Picky, we offer the best energy audit through a merged and comprehensive approach that starts with an occupant energy impact survey and a energy usage and loss assessment.  We customize your audits to meet your needs.  We only recommend and perform additional audit techniques using expensive equipment and analysis if you feel it is cost justified. We do so only after we have given you the information you need to make an educated decision if a more in depth analysis is warranted. We don't waste your time or money.

We work only for you.

Call Jerry… get the better audit - 248-224.0258

        AwfullyPicky.com Home Inspections TM


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