Home Energy Audits Can Save Energy and Money

Although we bought a new home three years ago with several Energy Star features, the temperature of the upstairs room above the garage is not comfortable much of the year. So we began investigating the source of the problem.

Xcel Energy provides electricity and natural gas to our home. They offer up to $200 in rebates covering about two-thirds of the cost of having a home energy audit. They also provide an approved list of qualified auditors. We selected a local company that brought several tools to measure items like air flow, insulation, heating and ventilation. They installed a fan on the front door to look for air leaks - we found a large hole in the upstairs room going into the interior roof where a door jam was located. I easily patched the hole using spray foam. Using simulated smoke for air flow and an infrared camera showing thermal gradients, they found that while air flow does properly go from the kitchen and living room out to the garage, the roof is not well ventilated. We are looking into the insulation blocking air vents and adding a fan on the roof.