1. Home Energy Audit
Every weatherization begins with assessing how a home consumes energy.
Energy loss often occurs in places where it cannot be seen or felt. An audit pinpoints where a house is losing energy. Groundswell connects homeowners to a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified energy assessor who spends three to four hours evaluating each home.
An audit includes:
- Blower door test, which measures air flow throughout a home.
- Physical and infrared tests of a home’s “building envelope” - the foundation, walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows and skylights.
- Combustion safety testing, which measures the performance of gas and oil fired appliances and analyzes a home’s indoor air quality.
- Evaluation of heating and cooling equipment, home appliances and insulation.
- Analysis of a home's energy consumption history to determine how much energy is devoted to different areas of the home.
2. Report and Recommendations
Following the audit, homeowners receive a professional report that prioritizes a home's efficiency improvements and includes the results of health and safety testing. Groundswell can review your audit report to address concerns and answer questions. Residents who have previously had a BPI-certified home energy audit at their home may request a review by their Strong Homes project's selected contractor to confirm and update the recommended improvements.
3. Efficiency Upgrade & Test-Out Audit
Each homeowner who joins a Groundswell Strong Homes Program group is eligible to receive air sealing and/or attic insulation in their home at a discounted rate. If you would like to implement additional recommendations from your energy audit, you can work with the selected contractor to do so. Other common recommendations for energy efficiency work include fine-tuning or upgrading heating and cooling systems, and sealing duct work. After the efficiency upgrades are complete, contractors perform a test-out assessment to measure the effects.
4. Energy Savings & Community Impact
Immediately following an efficiency upgrade, homeowners enjoy improved comfort, health and safety.
Groundswell suggests options for how community members can use their increased purchasing power to reinvest in their communities. For example, homeowners can decide to hire a local minority-owned business or a contractor that is committed to hiring employees from local communities and paying them a living wage.