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Home Energy Loss Inspection Helps Save Energy Cost

Updated: May 3

Your home energy is in your hands
Home Energy Inspection

Home Energy Loss Inspection

This type of inspection is a deep-dive into the home’s ability to keep the interior livable space “Air Tight.” Because of the tropical climate in South Florida, we are especially concerned with cooling our indoor air and keeping the hot air from getting into our homes.

Air Tightness refers to keeping outside air out and inside air in.

Energy efficiency can be impacted in a negative way because of defects such as air intrusion and or air extrusion. Negative impact means energy loss.

The concept of an envelope is used to describe indoor habitable air space. This is the air space that meets the necessary conditions to maintain a healthy life in our homes.

When speaking of air intrusion we are talking about exterior air migrating through cracks and gaps into the home’s healthy envelope and causing an imbalance. If unwanted hot exterior air is constantly coming in, then the cooling system is working more than it should. The result is more energy is being used, (energy loss).

Air extrusion is “good air” leaking out. The analogy of a leaky water supply pipe is a good way of thinking about it. It may be a very small leak that is undetected but you are still paying for that percentage of water that is being wasted underground somewhere. Same is true here; the homeowner is going to pay more in order to make up for the air loss. The result is extruded indoor air is also having a negative impact on the use of energy, (energy loss).

So a visual inspection which includes creating negative and positive indoor pressure allows the inspector to locate air leakage both intrusive and extrusive.

The next thing we want to inspect is the home’s insulation. We want to know what kind of insulation and how much of it is being used. There are different kinds of insulating materials and they all have their own insulating quality. This quality is measured by the “R Value”. The R stands for resistance, which is the ability to resist heat. The the number after the letter R, represents a resistance to heat. The higher the number the higher the resistance. Heat is always attempting to move towards cooler temperatures, it’s a law of physics. So the motive here is to keep the cooler conditioned indoor air separate from the hot exterior air.

Most attics in South Florida are non-livable air space consequently considered exterior air. So the goal is to keep indoor conditioned air separate from the attic air. This is achieved by preventing air intrusion/extrusion and using adequate insulation between the attic floor joists. Florida building guidelines recommend R38 insulation for attic spaces.

The next item we want to inspect are those appliances in the home that use a considerable amount of energy to operate. Namely, the clothes dryer, the water heater and the air conditioner. We want to find out the manufacturer age of the units. Appliances that are a decade or older are not as energy efficient as more current units.

A good energy loss inspection report will include documented observations with photos. Inspector’s recommendations of any corrections that should be performed that will have a positive impact on energy use. And any additional documents that help educate the homeowner.

Here’s an energy savings chart that shows dollar figures on upgrades and improvements made.

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