Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Home Energy Assessment?
The home energy assessments will address not just energy efficiency, but also the health, safety and comfort of your home. The assessment provides a "whole-house" approach, and includes equipment-based performance testing to determine duct leakage, insulation levels and overall air leakage of the home. The result of the assessment will be a computer generated report analyzing the current condition of the home and potential improvements that are based on cost effectiveness as well as increase in efficiency. A home energy assessment is a necessary and valuable first step in any home improvement project.

What is an Energy Advocate?
An Energy Advocate will be your guide throughout the process of the home energy assessment. Your advocate will work with you to understand any issues about your home, conduct the energy assessment and explain the outcomes and recommendations of the assessment. Your advocate is a trained skilled professional knowledgeable about home energy efficiency and there to provide you with the help, guidance an unbiased opinion you need to understand your homes efficiency and potential for improvement.

Will the blower door and duct blaster test cause damage or disruption to my home?
The blower door and duct blast testing are equipment pieces used to test the leakage of your homes envelope and duct system. This equipment allows the advocate to gather exact readings on the leakage rate and location of gaps, cracks and by-passes in the home. Neither the equipment nor the test will cause damage or disrupt the livability of your home. During the blower door test to gauge leakage of the home's envelope (exterior walls, floor and ceiling), a large fan will pressurize the house to reveal spots were outside air infiltrates the conditioned areas of the home. To conduct these tests, the advocate will need to turn off the HVAC system and seal off all air vents. The test itself is performed quickly and will not create a disturbance (no shake, rattle and roll).

What if my home does not have central Heating and Air-Conditioning?
No problem. If your home does not have a central heating and air system, and thus no duct work, we can still perform the needed tests to properly assess the home and make recommendations for improvement.

What are the benefits of a Home Energy Assessment?
A Home Energy Assessment is the best first step to any home improvement project. Under the CharlestonWISE program, contractors use an assessment process that follows nationally recognized Building Performance Institute (BPI) standards, equipment based testing and software driven analysis. This process allows us to:

  • Gain precise data about the current condition of the home and model cost-based recommendations for improvement
  • Test for health and safety measures to ensure your home not only operates efficiently but maintains healthy indoor air quality and a safe living environment
  • Provide assessment results that will reveal the best investment you can make in your home to increase energy efficiency
  • Provide a road map for improvements, repairs and renovations that align with your budget and desired outcomes