What is an energy audit?
Depending 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 design 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 much more complex. The structure is designed and built totally different. Anyone who has done a commercial energy audit maybe incline to tell you how time consuming 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.
In commercial applications not only is the building envelope inspected all components, mechanical, electrical and fossil fuel equipment should be analyzed, tested and measured usage has to be monitored and recored.
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.