Energy Assessments and Instant Savings Measures
Almost every home we see can take advantage of weatherization and energy efficiency improvements. At Next Step LivingTM we diligent identify these efficiency improvements, and then implement them with you in a cost-effective way. We also explain what’s going on so you will fully understand how your home works and show you how to take advantage of the available rebates and financial incentives.
The Energy Assessment
The Next Step LivingTM experience begins with a home energy assessment. This initial step will allow our Energy Advisors to determine where your home is losing energy, and to develop the most appropriate strategy for moving forward.
At the end of this process you will receive a report – an action plan – for how to move ahead and take advantage of the available opportunities. A Next Step LivngTM Energy Advisor will walk you through the report, helping you to understand every recommendation and how to take the next steps.
In Massachusetts, residents who are serviced by a sponsoring utility can get an assessment at no cost to them. In Connecticut, residents pay a small fee toward the cost of an assessment. (Without help from the utility, an assessment can cost $650 or more.)
Instant Savings Measures
ISMs, also called Core Solutions in Connecticut include measures like shower heads, CFLs, dimmable lighting, aerators, etc. and are installed based on rebates available by state. Our Energy Advisors will accomplish many of these measures for free during the home energy assessment.
What it does:
The infrared (IR) camera allows us to analyze your home by finding hot and cold areas.
Why we use it:
We can use the IR camera in conjunction with the blower door to more accurately identify where outside air is leaking into the living space. Additionally, we can see cold spots on your walls, ceiling, and floors indicating inadequate insulation. We find both obvious areas needing improvement but also locate hidden leaks and voids in the insulation by utilizing these diagnostic tools.
Recommendations will usually include air sealing and additional insulation to fix the problems we identify with the IR camera.
What it does:
A blower door gently blows air out of the home until the pressure inside the home is lower relative to outside pressure, simulating wind hitting all sides of the home at once.
Why we use it.
We will use the blower door whenever we recommend air sealing. The blower door allows us to accomplish two things:
- Identify costly air leaks exaggerated by the pressure differential between inside and outside. As the home is depressurized, air pours into the home through all cracks, seams, or holes, allowing us to pinpoint unwanted air leaks and drafts.
- Quantify the air leakage in the home by measuring the volume of air moving through the fan. we can quantify the how leaky and inefficient your home might be in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
Although we are here to make your home more efficient, we inevitably screen for scenarios that might have serious consequences for you health and safety. This type of screening will occur during our initial visit as well as any subsequent visits.
Carbon monoxide testing:
Before we start making any improvements to your home, we test the operating conditions of all the combustion appliances (heating system, hot water, stove). If any appliance is not operating properly, creating an increased risk of unhealthy levels of Carbon Monoxide build up in your home, we help you get this problem fixed before we do our work or, more importantly, somebody gets hurt.
Moisture and mold inspection:
During our home walk through, we look for existing or potential moisture issues. Proper air sealing is a critical next step to prevent these dangerous situations from arising. We are not a certified mold inspector, but our professionals are trained to look for issues that could prove harmful to the homeowner, and Next Step LivingTM will help you to remediate any potentially dangerous problems that we find.