Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Our Home Energy Audit

We at Positive Energy are lucky to live in Boulder, Colorado where energy audits are subsidized by the city.  Recently, I finally got around to having our own home audited.  Our home was built in 1912, so we expected that despite the fact that we had added insulation, changed out old windows, added a set-back thermostat, changed to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and had an on demand water heater installed, we might not receive top marks.
Our energy auditor, a private contractor, showed up with an infrared  gun and a blower door.  He installed the blower door in the opening of our front door, closed all the windows, and turned on the door's fan.  This pressurized  our house - he could then go around with a smoke stick and see where the leaks were.  He used the infrared gun to look at the insulation in our walls and ceiling.   
Our house looked better than we expected!  We got extra points for living in a home that is only 1500 square feet - much smaller than average for our community.  The only further step that our auditor recommended was to insulate our basement walls - a job we don't want to take on - we'll contract that out as well.
For more information on Boulder's subsidized energy audits, see
For more information on set-back thermostats, on demand water heaters, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and much much more - see our website,


Brian said...

I'm planning my master's thesis for which I need to find a community willing to stop mowing their lawns for a year and adopt native plant communities. I hope to show the many bennefits of natural lawns, such as improved soil quality/nutrient cycling, reduction in landfill input, establishment of native (and often rare) natural communities, increased carbon sequestration and much more. My hope is to find several adjacent homes willing to do this. Do you know of anyone who might be interested?

Thank you.

Brian Roat

Diane Merker said...

My friend Sabine Schafer may be interested. She has converted her lawn. Here is her e-mail address. She is in Boulder, COlorado. I hope it's not too late!