General

Would a Professional Energy Evaluation Help You Cut Energy Costs?

Published on: August 23, 2012

A professional home energy audit can help homeowners achieve energy efficiency goals. Older and vintage homes have areas that need to be identified as needing upgrades or repair. Newer homes can benefit from a home energy audit as well. By taking care of these areas, the homeowners will achieve a healthier and more comfortable home with lower energy costs.

The home energy audit technician will measure the rooms, inspect windows and doors, the attic, HVAC system and more. He or she will make a report and sit down with the homeowner to discuss what needs to be done to improve the home’s energy efficiency. The homeowner does not have to buy any service or product from the company conducting the audit.

Armed with the information, the homeowner can add insulation, Energy Star rated appliances and more as funds permit. The homeowners energy saving goals can be achieved over time as the utility bills drop. This has a positive effect on the homeowner; he or she can see the results of investing in energy saving products.

One way to increase the energy efficiency of the home is to replace the HVAC system. Many efficient models are on the market today. Some use new technology to dehumidify the air better than existing models. These include the DEVAP, or desiccant enhanced evaporative air conditioning and the passive dehumidification system. A hybrid system that uses both solar and grid energy is on the market. These technologies report savings to homeowners of between 60 and 90 percent.

For HVAC systems, the SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency rating, should be taken into consideration. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit is. While it may cost more initially, it will pay for itself over time with energy savings.

The home energy audit will also point out areas that need to be properly insulated such as the attic, walls and crawl spaces. Insulation with the highest R-value should be used in these places. The “R” stands for resistance to heat. In the winter, heat is held inside; during the summer, the heat is held outside. Different types and materials are available for homes. Eco-friendly materials are available as well.

Double-paned insulated windows with the Energy Star rating will cut heat or cooling losses significantly. For vintage houses, there are producers who build windows to match the style of the original architecture.

Managing the HVAC system and energy use is one of the best and fastest ways to start saving on the energy bill. Home automation connects the curtains, doors, windows, security system, interior and exterior lights and more to a master control panel. You tell the panel when to turn on lights inside and outside the house, turn on the oven, enter the thermostat temperature and more. When you leave, the panel will follow your instructions. You can come home to a well-lit yard, the entertainment center playing your favorite TV channel and a hot cooked meal. If you locked your keys inside, simply unlock the door from your smart phone.