Insulation Energy Appraisals are a data-backed analysis of your facility’s mechanical insulation. The appraisal report shows facility managers and owners how much energy and money are being spent to operate with their current mechanical insulation system. The report then demonstrates how much money and energy could be saved with a properly selected, specified, designed, installed, and maintained mechanical insulation system.
The Insulation Energy Appraisal process was created by the National Insulation Association over a decade ago. The goal is to assess the insulation system that is currently in place and show how a more efficient system could:
The Insulation Energy Appraisal process consists of four steps (outlined below). The final deliverable is a comprehensive report outlining your facility’s current energy loss, emissions, and energy costs, as well as potential savings with an upgraded insulation system.
Every facility or plant is unique. The first step of the Insulation Energy Appraisal process is for the appraiser to learn as much about your facility operation as possible.
The appraiser starts by meeting with personnel who know the facility well, whether owners or managers. The conversation focuses on a few key areas:
The results of the Insulation Energy Appraisal are only as strong as the information you are able to provide the appraiser. Complete, accurate information is critical for ensuring that the calculations and analysis are as helpful as possible. An experienced appraiser will have the tools and knowledge to either help you find the answers or make an educated estimate.
The next step is a facility walkthrough. This may take place on the same day as the initial info-gathering discussion, or it may take place during a follow-up visit.
During a walk-through, the appraiser will measure and document all applicable pipes, ducts, and equipment, both insulated and uninsulated or damaged. They may also photograph specific areas with a infrared camera to help facility personnel visualize the most concerning problem areas for energy loss.
The appraiser may also point out areas of concern with uninsulated areas or damaged insulation, such as personnel safety, regulatory compliance, corrosion under insulation, process control, or impact on adjacent equipment.
The thermal camera used during the facility walkthrough highlights low temperatures. Wet insulation transfers temperature far easier because moisture increases the transfer of energy due to water having a higher thermal conductivity than insulation. In many cases, wet insulation can turn moldy over time, which presents a health concern and endangers employee safety.
Once the appraiser has gathered all necessary information and completed a their facility walkthrough, they will complete a series of custom calculations to prepare the final report.
Most Insulation Energy Appraisers use a software program created by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA). The 3E Plus® program helps insulation professionals determine the best insulation specifications for your specific facility’s needs. To ensure accuracy, the program has customizable inputs for every aspect of your project, and benchmark values if your exact numbers aren’t available.
The appraiser uses the 3E Plus® program to calculate the following:
Cost to Operate the System per year with no insulation = $5,232 / year
Cost to Operate the System per year as currently insulated = $5,232 / year
Cost to Operate the System per year with the proposed upgraded insulation = $725
Per Year Savings with the proposed upgraded insulation = $4,507 / year
Btu Savings per year with the proposed upgraded insulation = 17.76 E + 04 Btu / year
The Environmental savings are calculated as pounds per year of pollutants that are prevented from entering the atmosphere
CO2 = 64,867 lbs
NOX = 111 lbs
The final deliverable of an Insulation Energy Appraisal is a comprehensive report. The report explains the financial, energy, and emissions that could be saved with a properly selected, specified, designed, installed, and maintained mechanical insulation system.
Once the Insulation Energy Appraiser has presented the final report, what are your facility’s next steps?
Here are two common next steps after receiving the appraisal report. Businesses will typically do one of these two things:
Who performs Insulation Energy Appraisals? For truly professional, impactful results, it is imperative that you seek out a Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser.
The Certified Insulation Energy Appraisal program is a course taught through the National Insulation Association. The course teaches insulation professionals the proper ways to conduct Insulation Energy Appraisals, including:
Students who pass the certified course exam are known as Certified Insulation Energy Appraisers. Certifications last three years.