Home Performance and Energy Efficiency Assessments with Pinnacle Inspections-- The Building as a System-- "A whole house approach"
A drafty home and high energy bills are all common issues for homeowners. Installing a new heating or air conditioning system, buying replacement windows, or adding more insulation may fix part of the problem. But the way to better results is through an integrated "whole-house" approach that looks at your house as a system. An Energy Efficiency Assessment (EEA) with Pinnacle Inspections, offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home, while helping to protect the environment and your investment.
Pinnacle Inspections can help you cost-effectively improve your homes energy efficiency. Our specially-trained technicians and contractors evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment and recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results. They can also help you take advantage of Federal tax credits for energy efficiency improvements.
Diagnosing the Problem... Rather than focusing on a single component, such as single-paned windows, an old air conditioning system, or leaky ductwork, Pinnacle Inspections will assess how improvements to all of these components can work together to provide: Fewer drafts
Consistent temperatures across rooms,
Better ventilation and humidity control, and
Lower utility bills
Blower Door, Infrared Thermal Imaging and Duct Leakage Tests...
Our professional energy auditors use blower door pressurizing tests combined with IR Thermal Imaging to help determine overall building envelope air leakage, effectively determining where to concentrate repair and upgrades. Here are a few reasons for establishing the proper building envelope tightness:
Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage
Avoiding moisture condensation problems
Avoiding uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors
Making sure that the homes air quality is not too contaminated by indoor air pollution.
How They Work... A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. Our auditors use Infrared Thermal Imaging along with the Blower Door to detect the air leaks. These tests further determine the air infiltration rate of a building. Pinnacle Inspections uses "State of the Art" blower door systems and digital airflow manometer from Retrotec. This type system has several digital displays that measure the amount of air pulled out of the house by the fan which allows our auditors to quantify the amount of air leakage occurring, and to gauge the effectiveness of any past air-sealing work, or construction, or to prescribe work to be done. We offer two types of Energy Efficiency Services:
Option #1: Simple blower door and Infrared Thermal Imaging scanning of the building envelope. General inspection of the insulation values, integrity and workmanship of walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows. Visual inspection and evaluation of furnace and water heater. Reporting of findings and recommendations with digital photos sent approximately 1 week after assessment. Approximate Cost: $385-$550
Option #2: Includes all of the above and...Complete diagnostic evaluation of building envelope and ductwork systems. Data collection of all measurements of building envelope components and output readings of pressure testing systems. Input and interpretation of data into computer software to run energy improvement analysis for documentation of performance of current building compared to improved building and associated costs, savings and pay back estimates. Report with findings and recommendations sent approximately 2 weeks post assessment. Approximate Cost: $600-$1,750
Infrared Thermographic Inspections... Pinnacle Inspection technicians use Infrared Thermography (IR)to help detect thermal defects and air leakage in building envelopes for all energy assessment and audit procedures. How IR Thermography Works... IR Thermography measures surface temperatures by using infrared cameras. Images produced by the IR Camera capture the temperature variations of the buildings surfaces, ranging from color, to black and white. The resulting images help us determine whether air sealing, insulation is needed, or other issues exist. The camera also serves as a quality control tool, to ensure that air sealing, or insulation has been installed correctly. A thermographic inspection is either an interior or exterior survey. Our energy auditors decide which method would give the best results under certain weather conditions. Interior scans are more common. In addition to using thermography during an energy audit, it would be wise to have a IR scan performed before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes.
Properly controlling moisture in your home will improve the effectiveness of your air sealing and insulation efforts, and vice versa. Thus, moisture control contributes to a homes overall energy efficiency. The best strategy for controlling moisture in your home depends on your climate and how your home is constructed.
How Moisture Moves through a Home... To help understand the principles of moisture control, you need to understand the basics of how moisture can move through your home. Moisture or water vapor moves in and out of a home in three ways:
With air currents
By diffusion through materials
By heat transfer.
Of these three, air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapor movement in building cavities. Air naturally moves from a high pressure area to a lower one by the easiest path possible?generally through any available hole or crack in the building envelope. Moisture transfer by air currents is very fast (in the range of several hundred cubic feet of air per minute). Thus, you need to carefully and permanently air seal any unintended paths to control air movement. The other two driving forces?diffusion through materials and heat transfer?are much slower processes. Most common building materials slow moisture diffusion to a large degree, although they never stop it completely.
Properly insulating your home will not only help reduce your heating and cooling costs but also make your home more comfortable.