Even though I live in a relatively new house, I had members of our city’s Green Initiative come to my house for a weatherization audit. They measured ceilings and inspected pipes, and also conducted a safety audit of my CO2 levels and air quality.

To test for the indoor pressure and sealant, they used a large contraption that made me feel like E.T. or men in protective white suits could be coming at any minute. But by putting this tarp around the door and measuring the air movement, they could tell how the house was sealed. The aim was to be like Goldilocks: “just right.” Obviously, too much air leakage would be inefficient, but I had not considered that too tight of a seal could add to the accumulation of CO2 and be dangerous as well.

In the end, they concluded that if you took all of the pinholes of air leakage in my house, it would amount to a 6 inch by 6 inch square. They assured me that was in the acceptable range, although it seemed like a large gap to me.

How can you conduct an audit for your organization? It doesn’t need to revolve around energy efficiency, but having someone from the outside come to review your procedures and benchmark them against others can be a valuable exercise. Sometimes we are so close to something that we don’t consider the waste that is leaking through the system.

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