Energy & Community
The Energy & Community branch focuses on energy efficiency in residential homes as well as education and community outreach programs. Our teams offer free Energy Audit services to assess how energy efficient your home is and make improvements to increase the efficiency of your home.
Home energy audit
A Home Energy Performance Audit is the first step in assessing how much energy a home consumes and evaluating what measures can be taken to make the home more efficient. These are always free to everyone and open to the public.
Through our energy audit process, we focus on the three C's of weatherization: Cost, Comfort, and Conservation. Whether you're interested in reducing utility costs, creating more comfortable living spaces, or conserving our natural resources, our weatherization services can help! Members of Green Iowa AmeriCorps undergo training and earn Building Analyst Professional certification from the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Armed with this training, our service teams assess a home's efficiency, evaluates problem areas, and seeks potential solutions.
Our energy audits consist of two parts: the blower door test and the initial walk-through. The blower door is specialized equipment that allows us to measure the level of air infiltration by surveying the extent of air leaks in the home. Air infiltration raises the price of utility bills due to its impact on heating and cooling systems. While the blower door test is running, members will walk through the home and search for areas where energy loss might be occurring. Depending on the amount of air leakage in your home, Green Iowa AmeriCorps Members might schedule a follow-up appointment to weatherize your home.
Depending on the results of the initial Home Energy Performance Audit assessment, Green Iowa AmeriCorps members may schedule a follow-up weatherization to address problem areas.
Members spend anywhere between 2-8 hours reducing air infiltration and making efficiency improvements listed below. Each home is quite different, but the cost of labor is always free.
Windows: Permanent solutions such as caulking and sealing around the window frame, installing sash locks. Seasonal (temporary) solutions include rope caulking and window kits.
Doors: Installing weather stripping, door sweeps, caulking.
Attic Access: Insulating attic access door, seal perimeter with foam tape, ensure a tight seal with a latch lock or weight.
Outlets: Insulating outlets and light switches with foam gaskets.
Rim Joints: Sealing the area where the foundation meets the house frame with friction-fit rigid foam and caulk.
Ducts: Sealing duct joints with HVAC tape and/or mastic
Water Pipes: Insulating hot and cold water pipes with foam sleeves to reduce conductive heat loss.
Efficiency Improvements: Installing Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and low-flow sink & shower aerators
Education & outreach
Our Energy and Community teams also partner with local schools and organizations to provide educational opportunities for all ages to teach about energy efficiency and a variety of other environmental topics. We also plan and implement community outreach opportunities to help you get or stay involved with your local community! Our members help plan events including invasive species removal, tree plantings, trash clean-ups, events for national days of service, and more!