Q: How do I get scheduled for a HomePLUS energy evaluation?
A: The process is simple. All you have to do is fill out our registration form here to get into our system. Once your registration has been processed, a staff member will contact you.
Alternatively, you can contact a Thurston Energy-approved energy evaulator to get started. You can find their contact information here. When you schedule your energy evaluation, be sure to mention that you want to get the HomePLUS energy evaluation, and that you are looking to recieve the $200 rebate that is available.
Q: Who qualifies for a Thurston Energy HomePLUS Package?
A: Any non-mobile home (four living units or less) in Thurston County, regardless of type of fuel source. Please note that Thurston Energy will not operate a blower door inside homes with asbestos or vermiculite insulation but will perform the other aspects of the HomePLUS evaluation and package.
Q: Is there anything special I have to do to get my house ready for the assessor?
A: There are a few things you can do to make the assessment process go more smoothly.
- Close exterior windows and doors, and open interior doors
- Turn down the thermostats on heaters and water heaters (gas-powered)
- Cover ashes in wood stoves and fireplaces with damp newspapers
- Shut fireplace dampers, fireplace doors, and wood stove air intakes.
- Make sure access hatches to your crawl space and/or attic are accessible to the assessor (move furniture or stored items away from them, if possible)
Q: What Kind of Technology is used in a Home Energy Evaluation?
A home energy evaluation uses a number of technologies: a visual/manual inspection of a home’s energy systems, a blower door and infrared thermography. The energy assessor generally begins the assessment with an inspection of your home, walking around and through it, looking at a home’s crawl spaces, windows, roof, attic spaces, HVAC system and water heaters. Once the assessor completes the walk-through, the blower door is installed.
A: A blower door is a high-powered fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. It has an adjustable plastic frame with a nylon sheet attached to it, and the fan is inserted into a special-sized hole at the bottom of the frame, facing outside. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then pulls air in through all the unsealed cracks and openings.
In addition to the frame and fan, blower doors also consist of a pressure gauge to measure the pressure differences inside and outside the home, and an airflow meter and hoses for measuring airflow.
Q: What does the infrared camera “see”?
A: The infrared camera is able to “see” areas in your house that need to be corrected. The infrared camera registers different temperatures with different colors, with warmer areas showing as reds and yellows, and cooler areas registering as blues and purples. A scale next to the image relates the colors to specific temperatures. An infrared camera can therefore expose areas in your walls, ceilings and floors that do not have insulation. Headers, door frames, window frames and gaps around electrical boxes and light fixtures are frequently not insulated. Once the deficiencies in your home are found, you can then correct the problems with confidence, knowing that the upgrades you are making are specific and measurable.
Q: What happens after the assessment is over? What are the next steps?
A: Once your assessment is completed, you will receive a customized report detailing the assessor’s findings of your home, with top recommendations of efficiency upgrades for you to implement. Our Energy Services Specialist will also contact you after your assessment, to offer you any assistance in getting some of the top recommendations done, whether by filing proposal requests to contractors on your behalf, helping you to understand and take advantage of utility rebates and federal tax credits, or finding funding for larger improvement projects.