Step 1: The Home Energy Audit

It seemed logical to officially start the “Green My Bungalow” retrofit project by doing an energy audit on the house.  The idea was to have some baseline data on the current energy use of the house as a starting point, and see what recommendations the auditors might make.  A grant-funded non-profit organization called SustainableWorks is currently offering CityLight-subsidized home energy audits for the bargain price of $95.  Normally closer to $600, the audit was a thorough inspection of the energy use of the house, from attic to basement and everything in between.  The most exciting part, of course, was the blower door test, in which a large fan is placed in an exterior door to draw air out of the house.

Energy Audit

Blower Door Test for Energy Audit

The blower door test is like having all the bathroon fans, the kitchen fan, and the dryer on all at once, sucking the air out of the house, creating negative air pressure inside the house. As a result, outside air comes into the house through tiny and not-so-tiny leaks in the exterior walls, doors, and windows.  A special infra-red camera sees the temperature differential where the outside air is entering the house.    The energy audit took the inspectors several hours, and they concluded with a 16-page report.  Overall the house was rated as using slighly less energy than the average house for the area.  The report included ideas big and small for improving energy efficiency in the house.