1. Home Energy Assessment
Every weatherization begins with assessing how a home consumes energy.
Energy loss often occurs in places where it cannot be seen or felt. An assessment 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 assessment 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, which measures the performance of gas appliances and analyzes a home’s air quality.
- Evaluation of appliances and insulation.
2. Report and Recommendations
Following the assessment, homeowners receive a professional report that prioritizes a home's efficiency improvements from the greatest to the least cost-effective. Groundswell reviews assessments to address concerns and answer questions. Homeowners who have a BPI-certified home energy assessment may request a review to confirm and update the recommended improvements.
3. Weatherization & Test-Out Assessment
Each home is different. Energy assessments identify upgrades that are best for each home. Common recommendations include sealing air leaks and adding insulation, fine-tuning heating and cooling systems, and improving ductwork.
After weatherization work is complete, contractors perform a test-out assessment to measure the effects.
4. Energy Savings & Community Impact
Immediately following a weatherization, 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.