A home energy audit is an assessment of a home’s energy usage and an evaluation of measures that can be made to increase its energy efficiency. GreenShield performs safety and efficiency testing on HVAC systems and water heaters, blower door diagnostics to determine air leakage, insulation evaluation, ductwork assessment, and health and safety inspections. We use Department of Energy approved energy modeling software to create detailed reports for the purpose of providing our clients with precise energy cost savings.
Our reports include a Summary and Recommendations section that estimates energy savings for a variety of scenarios, depending on how much our clients want to spend on energy improvements. Our focus is primarily on heating and cooling systems, air sealing, insulation, and baseloads for energy savings.
Energy audits are an important part of any home renovation project. We use a whole-house approach and our clients are often able to see additional benefits such as better indoor air quality and reduced outside noise.
GreenShield uses infrared thermal imaging to locate problem areas.
GreenShield performs multifamily energy audits on low, mid, and high-rise buildings. Our reports include an assessment of the building’s energy usage and an evaluation of cost-effective retrofits, system upgrades, carbon footprint reduction, and health and safety measures. GreenShield calculates design heating and cooling loads, baseload energy consumption by appliances, domestic hot water and lighting, and disaggregation of fuel usage to determine system performance by employing Treat energy modeling software.
GreenShield’s multifamily clients include housing authorities who trust us to deliver energy audits that incorporate HUD’s requirements for energy audits.
An energy audit is an assessment of a building’s energy usage and an evaluation of measures that can be made to increase its energy efficiency. GreenShield performs safety and efficiency testing on HVAC systems and water heaters, blower door diagnostics to determine air leakage, insulation evaluation, ductwork assessment, and health and safety inspections.
We use Department of Energy approved energy modeling software to create detailed reports for the purpose of providing our clients with precise energy cost savings.
Air infiltration occurs when outside air unintentionally enters a house through cracks and openings. Air sealing these cracks and openings in your home can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, improve indoor air quality, and prevent structure deterioration. The foundation of creating an energy efficient home begins with locating and sealing air leaks.
Gaps and cracks allow for the inflow of harmful pollutants into our homes. Air leaks from the basement or crawl space can contaminate the indoors with moldy and dusty odors.
GreenShield uses blower door diagnostics to locate these air leaks and can help you in prioritizing air sealing measures.
DIYers may choose to seal air leaks themselves for a low-cost improvement that can yield big rewards.
The recommended strategy in both new and old homes is to reduce air leakage as much as possible and to provide controlled ventilation as needed. Typical areas for air leakage include electrical outlets and switches, attic accesses, baseboards, crown trim, window frames, window air conditioners, plumbing and electrical accesses, and doors.
Insulation in your home provides resistance to heat flow. Properly insulated exterior walls, floors, and attics in your home will not only increase indoor comfort but also help you save on heating and cooling costs. Adding insulation in conjunction with air sealing is one of the most cost effective energy saving improvements that can be made for many homes.
Common insulation types for existing homes include blown cellulose or fiberglass for attics and walls, fiberglass batts for floors and rim joists, and rigid foam board for foundation and basement walls. Recommended insulation levels vary based on area and climate.
GreenShield's energy assessments calculate the R-value of your home’s current wall, floor, and attic insulation.Using energy modeling software, we estimate cost savings of additional insulation and provide the home owner with many options based on how much they want to spend…and save.
An insulation's resistance to heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value.
A home’s baseload energy usage is the energy that is needed in providing routine needs for the household. The three major baseloads in a home are refrigeration, lighting, and water heating. Baseload energy usage may account for more than 50% of the energy used in a typical home.
Unlike heating and cooling savings, which are only realized seasonally and may vary greatly based on weather patterns, baseload savings can be calculated consistently on a monthly basis.
GreenShield gathers data on your home’s baseloads and uses energy modeling software to provide return on investment (ROI) data from simple DIY projects to appliance replacement. The following is a brief description of the three major baseloads and how addressing them can help you start saving now.
Refrigerators are generally the largest power consumers in most households. A standard refrigerator built around 1990 will use over 900 kilowatt hours per year, or more than $81 per year of electricity at $.09 per kWh.
Performance improvements to insulation and compressors in the newest generation of refrigerators have greatly enhanced their energy efficiency. This means that replacing even a 10 year-old refrigerator can have an impact on consumer’s utility bills and in protecting the environment.
An energy assessment performed by GreenShield includes an analysis of your refrigerator. This analysis goes beyond just comparing energy usage labels, but also evaluates the condition of seals and defrost mechanisms. If diagnostic testing is requested, GreenShield can meter your refrigerator to ensure accurate results.
Performing an analysis of your current lighting type and usage is a simple but important part of the energy assessment. Using our energy modeling software, we can pinpoint locations throughout your house where lighting retrofits can save you the most.
Not only do LEDs use 70-90% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, but their long life cycles means replacing your bulbs a lot less often. Additionally, because LEDs do not produce near as much heat as incandescent bulbs, you may see savings in cooling costs and increased indoor comfort.
Water heaters may be the largest culprit of energy usage for the average home comprising up to 15% of total energy costs. GreenShield attacks water heater efficiency in various ways: High-efficiency replacement, showerhead retrofits, thermostat adjustment, water heater blanket, and pipe insulation. We evaluate multiple options and calculate energy savings spanning from no-cost/low-cost measures to replacement.
ENERGY STAR has certified many high-efficiency water heaters including heat pump, gas storage, gas tankless, and solar. GreenShield can help you make sense of it all and find a replacement option that is best for your home and family.
Showerhead retrofits are a low-cost measure intended to reduce hot water usage. With less hot water being expended, the water heater purposes less energy heating the new supply of cold water. Recently, the standard flow for showerheads has been changed to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) from 5-8 gpm.
Water heater blankets and pipe insulation are easy to install and combat recovery time and standby heat loss. Most blankets add an R-10 value to your water heater and have a low cost. Pipe insulation, extending from the water heater up to 6 feet, also has a very low cost and is almost always cost-effective. Home owners may have their contractor install the blanket and pipe insulation or make it a weekend DIY project.
GreenShield checks your water temperature and can make recommendations on any temperature adjustment needed for peak energy efficiency. Having the thermostat set properly can save money and lower the risk of scalding.
An inspection of your home’s heating and cooling equipment is performed during an energy audit. GreenShield checks the general condition of the equipment, safety and efficiency, ductwork condition, and the air filter.
Replacement of units over 15 years old can often be cost-effective when replaced with newer, energy efficient units. A clean and tune on the equipment can restore some of the efficiency of units that have deteriorated over the years.
There are many options for energy efficient replacements for both gas and electric furnaces. Electric furnaces are often evaluated in concurrence with central air conditioners for replacement to ensure that the AC will reach its peak energy saving potential. A heat pump can replace both the electric furnace and AC unit and prove to be cost effective. Gas furnaces are generally replaced with 90% - 95% efficient models, increasing the efficiency substantially from older 70% or 80% models.
Replacing your furnace with a larger system is not always the answer to heating and cooling issues. GreenShield can help you determine if alternative, lower cost measures can correct the problem. Uninsulated and leaky ducts can lose 10% to 30% of the energy used by the HVAC system due to longer operating times. Although ductwork is often not seen, it is an extension of your home’s thermal boundary, basically acting the same as a wall. Ducts should be treated in the same manner as walls by preventing air leakage and insulating when possible.
Common problems of uninsulated and leaky ducts include: disproportional temperatures in rooms, stuffy rooms, low air flow through registers, and moisture issues.
Properly insulating and sealing ducts located in unconditioned spaces such as attics, crawl spaces, garages, or unfinished basements can greatly improve your home's energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort. GreenShield uses pressure pan testing in conjunction with a blower door to determine duct leakage.
Some home owners find that installing a programmable thermostat will save them considerably by scheduling times for reduced heating or cooling when they are away or asleep. For example, the thermostat may be programmed to drop to 50 degrees during the day while at work and then increase to 65 degrees 30 minutes before returning home. This provides cost savings without sacrificing comfort. Modern programmable thermostats are ‘smart’ and can be controlled with your smart phone.
Let us help you find innovative solutions to your heating and cooling problems.
Windows and doors play an important role in our home’s thermal boundary. GreenShield inspects existing windows and doors to determine if replacement can be cost effective or if low-cost improvements can meet home owner’s demands.
Windows can gain and lose heat in many ways including radiation, convection, and air leakage around the frame. You can improve the energy efficiency of existing windows by using window treatments or coverings, adding storm windows, caulking and weatherstripping. GreenShield work orders can take DIYers step by step through the improvements.
It may be more cost-effective to replace some older, deteriorated windows rather than repairing them. New, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs and eventually pay for themselves over the course of their life cycle. Many utility companies offer rebates for home owners replacing their older windows with new, energy efficient models.
Exterior doors are an important part of the home’s thermal boundary, but repetitive use creates problems that eventually contribute to energy loss. Doors are comprised of parts that span from mechanical, such as hinges and door knobs, to materials designed to stop air flow, such as door sweeps, bottoms, and weatherstripping.
Your home may experience heat loss/gain due to uninsulated doors and air leakage. Air leakage is usually caused by improper fit and deteriorated materials and can be reduced by replacing worn weatherstripping, door sweeps and bottoms, and caulking gaps around the door frame. It is generally cost effective to replace uninsulated wood doors with newer pre-hung, insulated steel doors to help fight energy loss.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development, Division of Energy, is the licensing body for energy auditors in the state of Missouri. The DOE fact sheet, Health and Safety Information for Missouri Home Energy Auditors, provides guidance on health and safety inspections during the performance of energy audits. These requirements include the evaluation of ASHRAE 62.2 whole house ventilation needs, radon mitigation systems in elevated potential counties, combustion appliances, moisture, hazardous materials, and electrical hazards.
GreenShield performs limited visual inspections and diagnostic testing of the residential structure, adhering to BPI 1200 Standards, DOE requirements, and professional ethics to identify health and safety issues. We provide our clients with written reports based on observable or measurable deficiencies at the time of the inspection. These reports are not technically exhaustive, nor do they predict future conditions of the structure.
Radon testing is a long-term test and is not performed by GreenShield in a typical energy audit, however, we can provide home owners recommendations based on their location.
GreenShield performs Carbon Monoxide (CO) and spillage tests on natural draft gas appliances. Readings are compared to NREL Standard Work Specification guidelines and recommendations are provided to the home owner. Spillage testing is done to ensure that flue gases are not exhausting into the living space.
GreenShield calculates ASHRAE recommended ventilation needs. Homes with poor indoor air quality may find that ventilation may remedy some issues.
Health and Safety measures are generally NOT available for tax credits or rebates by federal, state, and utility programs.