What is an energy audit?
Depending on if it is a residential or commercial structure energy audits can vary. However the end result should be to gather information and data on that structure then figure out a solution to reduce energy usage.
In different parts of our country energy audits are conducted in various ways. Some local city governments believe that a blower door test is an efficient way. A blower door test can only tell you how leaky a house is or is not. This is an artificial way to place a home under a negative pressure utilizing blower door equipment. In my opinion no home or structure will ever experience a negative pressure of 50 pascals under normal operation. So if the home is tested this way it can be a false set of air leakage numbers. I should know because i personally have conducted approx, 1000 of these types of tests.
As a building analyst I have designed a much better way to conduct an energy audit under normal operating conditions.
Commercial energy audits are by for much more complex. The structure is designed and built totally different. With a large verity of mechanical and electrical equipment. Anyone who has done a commercial energy audit maybe incline to tell you how much fun it can be.
Data gathering consumes a big part of the project. In some cases depending on the size of the building it may take well over a month to finalize a commercial energy audit.
New construction energy audits can be time consuming as well. During each phase of the construction of these projects a building analyst must visit the site to conduct a visual inspection. On these projects the building envelop should be of most importance. In today's times we have become a little smarter in construction. In most cases each local government has a set of requirements to follow for air sealing, ventilation, duct work installation, R-value and U ratings in windows.