Save Money By Inspecting Your Home
In any season of the year, a leaky home costs money. But, how do you know where to start on sealing and insulating your home? Have a home energy audit or also called a home energy assessment. This is a series of tests and inspections to find out where in your house can be more efficient. By having a audit done you can see exactly how to improve the homes’ effectiveness by saving you money, lowering energy consumption, and make your home more comfortable.
Places to Start
Try installing energy efficient lighting and appliances to start lowering energy consumption and in turn, lower monthly costs. Create a sealed barrier around your house for optimal effect against leaks and heat transfer. An estimated money savings on your energy bill will be between 5 – 30%.
Hire A Professional
In order for you to have a thorough home energy assessment done, hire a local home energy technician for a proper audit. A technician will walk though the inside and outside of you home combing through looking for any signs of energy loss.
During a cold weather evaluation, the technician will start on the outside. They will looking for problems around walls, joints, and under the eaves. If there isn’t a tight fit, that’s a sign for loosing energy and money.
A technician will check for leaks in the attic. The first thing to check is the trap door to the attic. It can be a source for letting cold air into the home since the attic is a cold zone or the same temperature as the outside in any season. A major part of the audit is checking how well the insulation is doing. Insulation should be correctly installed, not jammed or evenly applied between all areas of the house frame. If the insulation is falling down, it is not working, it needs to lay flat against the backing.
Further inspection in the attic will involve checking where electrical lines and ducts pass through for leaks, if they aren’t sealed, then air movement is happening and you are loosing energy.
The home energy auditor will go to the basement next. Your furnace and water heater could be costing you money so the technician will check for energy efficiency. Furnaces tend to loose their efficiency as they get older. Replacing it could cost you less then keeping your old one running.
- Tip: A simple filter change can keep a furnace running at peak performance. A clog filter will make the furnace work harder causing more strain on the system.
For the water heater, the auditor will check for its age and if it has a insulation blanket on it. The insulation improves the ability to keep the water hot longer so the water heater kicks on less.
- Tip: Keep the water temperature around 120 degrees. This not only uses less energy to keep the temperature, but the water won’t scald you. This is a safety concern for children and the elderly.
The auditor will inspect duct work for loose connections. The connections have to be sealed to keep the air inside from escaping. Air need to travel to the registers in order to heat or cool your home.
A blower door test will finish the audit. It involves closing or blocking all openings to the outside like doors and windows. Fireplaces, exhaust fans, and other known openings are temporary sealed or blocked off. The technician will open and seal the front door with a fan in the doorway. How the test works is by depressurize the house forcing all the air out the front door allowing incoming air or leaks through all the openings you didn’t know about.
Air leaks are easy to find when the house is depressurized. During the winter season a infrared camera is used to scan the exterior of the home looking for cold air rushing in. The darker the color the worse the leak or lack of insulation.
- For the top 10 air leaks in homes click here.
By having a home energy assessment done, it reveals ways that energy escapes costing you money. You will then have a comprehensive home energy report showing which efficiency upgrades are right for you.