On the Reschexpert blog we wanted to give you some easy steps to create your home energy audit easily. Whether you are creating a Rescheck, Manual J, Manual S, Manual D, or Comcheck some of the steps that you will use to get them started quickly and efficiently will remain remarkably the same.
Your first step on any Do It Yourself Rescheck, Manual D, Manual S, Comcheck, or Manual J Heat Loss will be to obtain a full size set of blueprints for your new construction, addition, or alteration. You can get these a local office supply store or possibly a blueprint supply store in your nearest large city. The large set of prints will help you make accurate calculations and have paper records of everything you create. This is one of the easiest ways to get your DIY home energy audits started on he right foot and will only cost you about $10-$20 depending on the amount of pages in your plan.
Next you need to start compiling the insulation, R Values, U Values, and SHGC values of your components. Below is a basic list of each component that you will need to assign an insulation value to on any home energy audit project:
Roof R Value
Skylight R Value and SHGC if applicable
Wall R Value
Window U Value and SHGC if applicable
Door U Value and SHGC if applicable
Foundation R Value
These are some basic values you will need to get started. Once you have this info rounded up you will be ready to move on to your next step of creating your DIY Rescheck, Manual J, Manual S, Manual D, or Comcheck quickly.
The next step once you have a full size set of plans your components insulation values measured is to gather some project data. All the projects we see need two additional criteria. A jobsite address and square footage. If you do not have a jobsite address you will at least need to know what city you are building in. If you do not know the city then you will need to know the name of a city nearby. The reason why is that Rescheck, Comcheck, Manual J, Manual S, and Manual D all use climate data that is derived from studying the hottest and coolest days of the year. This climate data is then compared to your building components to give you the in depth information you desire in your Do It Yourself Home Energy Audits. Square footage is next. If your plan does not list the square footage, it should. This is basic information you will need throughout the project from the building permit to certificate of occupancy. Go ahead and calculate this. If you want to take it a step further make a spreadsheet of the square footages of each room. This will come in particularly handy with the Manual J Heat Loss and Manual D duct layout. It can also help you receive more accurate estimates when you go to actually constructing the home.
The final item that you are going to need is software. You will need to choose a software for each report so below I will spell out some low cost options that might help you get the job done on your Do It Yourself home energy audit.
Rescheck Software: Rescheck Web or Rescheck Desktop
Comcheck Software: Comcheck Web or Comcheck Desktop
Manual J: Cool Calc, EMS Load Calculator, or ACCA Manual J Spreadsheets
Manual S: EMS Load Calculator or ACCA Manual S Spreadsheets
Manual D: EMS Load Calculator or ACCA Manual D Spreadsheets
These are some basic options that can help you learn procedures. There are also more expensive enterprise level Rescheck, Comcheck, Manual J, Manual S, and Manual D softwares but for the beginning Rescheck, Comcheck, Manual J, Manual S, or Manual D creator the list above should be everything you need.
Overall, creating DIY home energy audits can be rewarding but it will take plenty of time to sharpen your skills. If time is something you are lacking then maybe the easiest way is to hire us to create your reports. We can handle Rescheck, Comcheck, Manual J, Manual S, and Manual D and turn them around same day. Simply email plans, jobsite address, and square footage and we will get you taken care of.