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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Experience and Energy Audit

<st residential energy audit finally took place this Tuesday at Douglas House. Fortunately, I was able to watch the first part. The energy squad arrived a little past 9:15AM and first checked out the doors, basement, and attic. One auditor insulated the doors by adding a door sweep to the bottom to stop air flow under the door and moved the seal around the door to better fit the frame. Another auditor checked out the furnace and the water heater. She was shocked to find an 80 gal water heater, which is double the size of most water heaters. This would be a major source of energy consumption since 80 gal would have to be continually heated. The water heater was not insulated, so the auditor “blanketed” it with a foamy, insulating sheet. The furnace didn’t seem to have many problems. The head auditor did a general check of the house. He found that the basement walls had basically no insulation, meaning that it was only the wooden boards acting as a barrier between the inside and outside. Also, we checked the attic to find that there was already insulation there.

Then came the blower door test. The blower door blows air out of the house to depressurize it and increase air flow into the house. Then the auditors used an infrared camera to locate their major air leakage points. A blower door fan was placed in a hole in canvas that covered the doorway. The fan was run for a few minutes until the pressure in the house was sufficiently lowered. Then the auditor checked the walls and ceilings. It was fun to see the to see where the air leakages were through the different wall colors, which correspond to different temperatures.
The energy audits are a great experience and open to all. More energy audits are scheduled so if you are interested in participating in one, contact mlarson.

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