How Much Energy Does Your Home Use – or Waste?
You need a professional home energy audit!
What Happens During A Home Energy Audit?
A professional auditor is going to perform a thorough examination of your home – room-by-room, inside and out. He or she will be noting things like the number of windows, the surface area of the walls, and more.
The auditor will also be examining the usage patterns of your home and several months worth of your energy bills. There may be consistent times when your home is unoccupied, and reducing the use of the heating and cooling system during those hours can reduce your costs without any effect on your overall comfort.
The auditor will check the house for leaks where drafts can let cold air in or out. This is done by lowering the pressure in the home and using smoke to pinpoint leaks. To perform this test (called a blower door test), the auditor will close all of the windows and doors and then install a large fan in one of the outside door frames. The fan draws air out of the house lowering the inside air pressure.
An assistant will walk around the outside of the home with a smoker and the auditor will note areas where smoke can be seen come into the house. These will be the areas where a little sealing and caulking will stop the problem.
Finally, your auditor should perform a thermographic scan. This will show warm and cool spots in your walls and identify places where insulation may help.
Finding A Home Energy Auditor
Your state or local government energy or weatherization office may be able to help you locate a local company that performs audits. Your energy utility companies may perform residential energy audits or be able to recommend local auditors.
When deciding who to hire, look for the following:
* References. The auditor should be able to provide these and you should call each one and ask about their satisfaction level.
* Check your local Better Business Bureau regarding the auditor you want to use. Look for complaints about the company.
* Make sure the auditor can perform a thermographic test and that he or she uses a calibrated blower fan for their tests.
Knowing where the energy leaks are in your home may save you hundreds of dollars spent guessing where the problems are and fixing things that weren’t actually broken. Plus, you will also benefit from an ongoing savings on your energy bills.