Would a Professional Energy Evaluation Help You Cut Energy Costs?Published on: August 9, 2012
Increasing the energy efficiency of your home helps to reduce your heating and cooling costs. A home energy audit lets you pinpoint the improvements that will save you the most money. While you can conduct a simple assessment yourself, our professional energy auditors use special equipment and techniques that can identify areas that you might miss. Leaks and drafts, for example, are often the result of problems in hard-to-reach places like walls and ducts. The goal of a home energy audit is discover ways to save you money over time by improving the energy efficiency of your home.
The first step in a home energy audit is to calculate how much energy your home uses and how much it wastes. This assessment may not only include a detailed room-by-room evaluation but an examination of your energy expenditures as well. Our professional auditors begin by determining the size of your home and by conducting an analysis of your home’s current energy efficiency. Because heating and cooling systems generally account for around 50 percent of home energy bills, we’ll assess your home heating and cooling systems to see if there are ways to converse electricity and hot water.
One of the most powerful tools that our home auditors use in a home energy audit is a blower door. A blower door is a fan encased with thick plastic sheeting that is fitted into an exterior door. All other windows and doors are then closed. As the fan blows air outside, the air pressure inside is lowered. This forces fresh air to enter the structure through any gaps and leaks. A pressure gauge is used to determine the amount of indoor air movement. The same kind of process can be used on ductwork to check for leaks.
Home energy audits can also include thermographic inspections that use both infrared and still cameras to measure surface temperatures. Images of light that are in the heat spectrum are recorded, revealing the energy efficiency of your home’s insulation. A thermogram will not only show where additional insulation is needed but will also reveal where existing insulation has been poorly installed. Thermography can also detect faulty equipment as well. Hot electrical connections and overheated mechanical systems will show up on thermographic scans.
By identifying which areas and systems of the home are wasting energy, a home energy audit can help you draft a plan to improve the energy efficiency of your home. You’ll receive a comprehensive report of all problems areas and suggestions for cost-effective solutions. Many homeowners discover that improvements pay for themselves in just a few heating or cooling seasons.