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From a Certified Pro
Certified Energy Auditor
Residential Comfort & Energy Efficiency
Tuesday, October 27 2020
If you happen to be in the market for attic insulation then you might want to consider the two different ways you can go about getting an estimate.
1. Typical Insulation Quote
Most people tend to get an insulation estimate the familiar way which is to call ABC Insulation Company and have a rep come out, take a look in the attic and give them a price.
After all, it is only insulation and it is in the attic. How hard can it really be?
2. Getting a BGE Home Energy Audit
A BGE energy audit has a primary goal: to evaluate your home as a complete system and report back to you. A BGE energy audit takes a whole-house approach and it comes with measurable results.
This means that you are able to sit in the driver's seat when deciding how to improve comfort and efficiency.
Common Insulation Misperception
Most homeowners think that the more insulation you have the more efficient you are and the more comfortable you will be.
But, if you miss the opportunity to insulate your home correctly, then it could leave you scratching your head about why it is not more comfortable in the house and why the BGE bill has not gone down.
What does it mean to insulate effectively?
Pressure & Thermal Boundary
If you have had a typical insulation quote recently and the representative did not mention the pressure and thermal boundary then you might be on a path to an incorrectly installed insulation project.
Most insulation, alone, will not stop the flow of air.
Insulation is similar to a jacket. If a jacket is not zipped up, the air flows inside and around resulting in loss of body heat and comfort woes.
Identifying your house's envelope or "shell" is important for a properly installed insulation project.
Knowing where insulation is needed at every turn and what type of insulation is best for the job is a BGE energy auditor's assignment.
Pressure dynamics inside your house create infiltration (air coming in) and exfiltration (air going out) in places that will get missed if building science principles are not applied during a typical insulation quote.
A typical insulation quote may provide information about insulation for walls which is costly and will undoubtedly yield little to no results.
A BGE energy audit is a great way to gain a new perspective on how your house is actually losing energy.
Did you know that a properly installed insulation project around the house is likely to yield measurable results compared to window and door projects that tend to cost more?
For starters, a BGE energy audit will perform an air leakage test (blower door test) and each window and door can be checked.
The blower door test is not something you would get with a typical insulation quote.
The test can show how ceilings, walls, floors and basement areas all lead to as much as 40% of a home's air leakage compared to only 10% for windows and doors.
Check out a blower door test set up in 2.5 minutes!
A professional BGE energy auditor will provide you with unbiased information about the condition of your insulation, details about the proper location for new insulation, information about indoor air quality and the BGE energy audit can be an invaluable resource for HVAC advise and expertise.
After all, according to BGE, the Program is designed to improve the energy performance, durability, comfort, health and safety of existing residential housing in BGE’s service territory.
A reporting package through a BGE energy audit will include a detailed findings report, a prioritized list of measures with rebate information and a detailed workscope with pricing.
Written by Eric Gans
Did you get a typical insulation quote and a BGE energy audit? If so, we want to hear about your experience in the comments below: