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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default DIY Energy Audit

    I bought an infrared thermometer to help do my own energy audit. The camera is simple enough to use. You just point the beam at something (walls, ceiling, floor, etc) and it tells you the surface temperature.

    The problem I have is I don't know what the temperature SHOULD be. I've got a brick bungalow in Michigan built in the 50s. I use a digital thermostat set for 72 when I'm home and 65 when I'm not in the winter.

    Assume I have adequate insulation in the walls and crawlspace. What temperature should the walls and ceiling be when I'm home? Right now they range from 65-68 degrees. Is that good or bad?

  2. #2

    Default Re: DIY Energy Audit

    I am trying to do the same thing myself.
    Energy Audits are so expensive It takes years to break even.

    I would look at the temperatures outside your house in cold weather to find heat leaking out .
    Do this while pressurizing your house to force warm air out threw the cracks in your insulation envelope.

    In summer look at the inside of your house while trying to suck warm air into the interior with a whole house fan and all windows closed.

    I am trying to find out how much Cubic feet per minute air leakage is considered acceptable per square foot of house ?

    John...410 303 3785..cell phone

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: DIY Energy Audit

    Some utilities (electric, gas) will do free energy audits. They probably aren't as comprehensive as someone you pay to do the work, but it might net you 80 or 90% of the efficiency gains you'd get from the pay-for auditor.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: DIY Energy Audit

    An IR thermometer will tell you temperatures, but an IR camera will give you a much better picture if you can borrow or rent one. IR thermometers average temperatures over a wide area, not just the laser point. The area is usually about 1 foot at 12 feet distance. The Testo IR thermometer gives you 2 laser points, better defining the area being measured. You may also conduct an energy audit of your home using the NEAT (National Energy Audit Tool) from waptac.com
    This is a free download, and the program was designed by the Department of Energy. It may be a little tricky to use without formal training though.
    At any rate, if I were to use an IR thermometer to attempt to gauge heat loss, I might compare the readings from an exterior wall to those of an interior wall. As a rule of thumb with IR cameras, you should have a 12 degree difference from inside to outside for accurate readings, and the same principal would hold true for IR thermometer, but again, the thermometer will only give you a vague picture of what's going on.

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