Diary of an Energy Audit
Basics: The City of Austin Energy Efficiency Ordinance went into effect June 1, 2009 mandating home owners in the City of Austin and served by Austin Energy to obtain an energy audit prior to selling their home. A product of the City of Austin Climate Protection Plan passed in 2007, the Ordinance is designed to offset 700 megawatts of peak energy demand by 2020, contributing to a reduction in the carbon footprint of the Austin community.
Specifics: I decided to do one on my own home for the heck of it. We are not selling but wanted to understand the audit first-hand and understand what my Austin sellers will experience and we were pretty sure our 1976 Northwest Hills home could use some efficiency improvements. On June 2, Justin Marler of Energy Action did our audit. We videotaped part of the process:
Efficiency (how it’s cooling) – “pretty good”
Duct leakage test:
Downstairs AC – 28% leakage (ouch)
Upstairs AC – 18% leakage (under 10% is acceptable)
Other: solar screens could use some work, water heater closet needs to come up to code, we need a little weather stripping here and there.
Our Plan: Strand Brothers is sealing the ductwork, plumbing and skylight penetrations and bringing the water heater closet up to code. When they seal the ductwork, they set the DuctBlaster back up to the system and keep testing it throughout the process so we can watch the 28% and 14% inefficiencies go down as they tweak the ductwork.
$764 Duct sealing & other efficiency improvements – Strand Brothers
(door sealing, water heater closet ventilation & code update)
($265) City rebate
($163) Gas rebate
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