The CCI Sound Home Plan
With Sound Home Plan, making smart home improvements is simple. We’ll take an in-depth look at your home by performing a home energy audit and pinpoint exactly what it needs for greater efficiency, safety, and comfort. See our process here.
Become a part of the growing network of Pittsburghers who are implementing climate solutions and lowering energy bills in their home! This past year, home renovations resulting from CCI's Sound Home Plan brought about energy reductions of over 660 million BTUs. To be a part of CCI's vast network, call 412-431-4623 to schedule an audit today!
Included in Our Sound Home Plan for $399*
*A discounted price of $375 is available to those interested in joining CCI's Home Energy Showcase.
Your Sound Home Plan starts with an in-depth energy audit. From there, CCI creates a comprehensive diagnostic report about your home’s performance. We advise you on the most cost effective ways to upgrade your home and refer you to trusted local contractors. If you choose to follow through with suggested home upgrades, we also perform follow-up inspections after the work is complete to guarantee work quality.
- Whole house performance evaluation
- Blower door testing
- Infrared thermal imaging
- Health & safety testing
- Moisture & mold inspection
- Prioritized recommendations
- Estimated cost of work
- Predicted energy savings
- Carbon footprint evaluation
- Home Energy Score
- Radon monitor
- Certificate of Improvement on work completion
*Energy audits for larger homes or homes with more than one heating system may cost slightly more.
What is a CCI Home Energy Audit?
CCI’s energy professionals follow a science-based approach when visiting your home. Our Building Performance Institute (BPI)-certified auditors use specialized training and advanced diagnostic equipment to test for air flow, air leaks, potential gas and carbon monoxide leaks, moisture, humidity and temperature issues, and insulation and efficiency problems. Unlike the narrow, single-point perspective of typical insulation and HVAC contractors, CCI’s energy auditors understand your home as an interconnected system that needs to be diagnosed and assessed as a whole. This addresses the health of your home at the same time when we uncover energy saving possibilities.
During the on-site inspection, we examine your home both inside and out for visible issues such as mold and moisture and low insulation levels. We use our extensive expertise to assess mechanical appliances such as heating and cooling systems to ensure that they are properly running.
Leaky, drafty homes can allow too much outdoor air into the home, pushing out conditioned air and bringing in not only unwanted hot air (in summer) or cold air (in winter), but also allergens, dust, and humidity. CCI follows BPI methodology to assure healthy ventilation levels. By identifying and achieving these levels, you will not only increase the health of your home, but you will also waste less energy.
“Air sealing” is like the windbreaker that pairs up with the wool sweater of insulation in your home’s protective layers. Without both, you’ll be far less comfortable, and that’s why it is important to address both. To get air sealing right, we conduct a “blower door test” to pinpoint the cracks, voids, and gaps where air leaks into (and out of) your house. It is most important to locate and seal the gaps found at the top and bottom of the home, due to a phenomenon known as “stack effect” (see more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_effect ). Our blower door test is a key component in identifying these unwanted sources of air infiltration and exfiltration, which can account for up to one third of the total conditioned air lost from your home.
Thermal imaging, also known as an infra-red camera scan, is similar to taking an X-ray of the wall, in the sense that it lets us see things inside of a building structure that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. It can uncover deficiencies in your home such as air leaks and missing insulation. Using thermal imaging, we find issues that are often completely unknown to the homeowner, and are often located in unexpected areas - like around light fixtures in the ceiling.
Combustion safety testing performed during the audit ensures all combustion appliances are running safely and are not back-drafting. While our auditors are experts when it comes to the visual assessment of your home's mechanical systems, there is also a need for the use of high-tech diagnostic equipment. All appliances and hot water and HVAC equipment are closely evaluated for their fuel economy and energy efficiency. These tests and measurements assist us in determining your whole house performance and the most cost effective ways to improve your comfort and health and reduce your energy waste.
Why work with CCI?
- We are a nonprofit advisor and provide an unbiased assessment of your home, as a third party.
- We are an established partner and a program sponsor of Home Performance with Energy Star program from Department of Energy (DOE). As such, both CCI’s team and participating contractors are dedicated to providing the trust and quality that are associated with the ENERGY STAR brand.
- Contractors who participate in Sound Home Plan (SHP) are vetted and need to adhere to quality control rules from DOE.
- SHP contractors use an insulating method known as “dense-packed cellulose” to insulate cathedral ceilings, walls, cantilevers, ceilings of a garage, and other common problem areas. Dense-packing prevents settling of the insulation over time and avoids insulation gaps in the walls in the future. Cellulose is the most environmentally friendly among common insulation materials.
- Upon completion of work you will be presented with a Home Performance with Energy Star Certificate of Improvement – useful when selling the home, as well as an updated Home Energy Score.
- See also our “Why Choose CCI” webpage. Thank you!
In addition to what is included in our in-depth energy audits, we also offer mold testing and lead paint testing. Receive $100 off when you book mold or lead testing and a Sound Home Plan energy audit together. Click here for more info on lead testing services.