Home Energy audits

Sign up for your free home energy audit by clicking the button below!

 

Fill out the short survey and a local Green Iowa team will reach out to you to schedule an energy audit.

What is a 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 initial walk through and the blower door test. During the initial walkthrough members will identify areas where air may be leaking in and perform initial safety checks. 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. 
 

What is a Weatherization?

Depending on the results of the initial Home Energy Performance Audit assessment, Green Iowa AmeriCorps members may proceed with weatherization services to address problem areas.

Members spend anywhere between 2-8 hours reducing air infiltration and making efficiency improvements listed below. Each home is 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

Audit FAQ's

What are the benefits of GIA's Weatherization services?

  • Cost Savings: ​Did you know the average Light Emitting Diode bulb (LED) could amount to $50 of savings during its lifetime in comparison to a traditional incandescent bulb? Or the installation of low-flow sink and shower aerators can cut your water consumption by 50 percent? Alliant Energy estimates a typical home could cost $50 to weatherize, but it's possible to save two-to-three times that amount in just one heating season. The work done by Green Iowa adds up and could potentially lead to a nice reduction in your utility bills.

  • Conservation: With every bit of energy you use or waste, more natural resources are consumed and cause further harm to the environment. By getting a simple home energy audit, you can help reduce humankind's carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Improving your household's energy efficiency is a step in the right direction.

  • ​Comfort: Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? If so, a home energy assessment can help address the causes of these discomforts.

    • Rooms are too cold in winter and too warm in summer

    • Humidity is either too high or too low

    • You are constantly dusting, have mold problems or trouble breathing in the home

 

What exactly is the blower door test?

  • Air leakage causes home heating and cooling systems to work harder than needed, resulting in more energy consumption and higher utility bills. The blower door test is specialized equipment used to quantify the air leakage caused by any gaps, cracks, or openings in a home's envelope. The test is conducted by putting a frame with a fan in an exterior doorway which blows air out of the house to decrease the air pressure inside the house. As the pressure inside your house decreases, air from the outside flows in through gaps and cracks in order to compensate. This means the fan will have to work even harder to depressurize your house to the desired level. Using the volume of your building and how hard the fan has to work to reach the desired depressurization, we can calculate how much air leaves your house every hour. Based on this estimate, we will decide whether air sealing measures are necessary.

 

Does Green Iowa install insulation?/Does Green Iowa install windows and doors?

  • No. Our teams are able to survey problem areas and make suggestions. However, the act of insulating and/or hanging doors and windows is considered a job for professional contractors and outside our work-scope. Any work that would be considered contractor's work is proscribed. This helps keep Green Iowa's services low to no-cost.

 

Can Green Iowa recommend local contractors to complete certain work?

  • No. Our organization operates on impartial grounds and as such we cannot recommend one contractor over another. However, we can put you in contact with your local utility provider who can offer recommendations. 

 

Do you offer home energy audits and weatherizations in the summer time?

  • Yes! It's just as important to keep your home energy efficient while running your cooling system as it is when your heat is on. 

 

Do I have to be home for the audit or weatherization? 

  • No, but most homeowners prefer it. Green Iowa members need to be able to enter the home and any animals should be contained. Before the audit/weatherization process can begin, homeowners must sign a waiver. Otherwise, it is left to the discretion of the homeowner to determine if they want to be present or not. 

 

Why is it free?

  • Green Iowa AmeriCorps is able to support the labor provided by members at no cost to homeowners through a series of grants and fundraising efforts. All free materials that go into qualified homes are donated by local businesses, community members or individuals who would like to provide a more energy and cost efficient home for a person in need.  

Contact Us

UNI Center for Energy & Environmental Education | RM 111

University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0293

Phone: (319) 273-7233

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