Home Energy Assessments and Energy Audits
One of the best ways to understand your home's energy usage is to do a home energy assessment, often referred to as an “energy audit.” If you are looking for some quick information on how to evaluate your home for energy efficiency, check out the tips below to help lower your energy bills and reduce maintenance costs.
To evaluate your home's efficiency, check for these problems that we frequently see when auditing residential buildings:
- Inadequate insulation – allows heat (and cold) to flow through walls, ceilings, and floors
- Air leakage – leaks hidden in your walls, attic, basement & garage allow warm or cool air to escape and bring in cold or hot outdoor air in its place
- Inefficient heating systems – older technology or newer, minimum-efficiency furnaces cost more to operate than modern, high-efficiency systems
- Inefficient central air conditioning system – older, inefficient units cost more to operate than modern, high-efficiency systems; improper installation and over-sized A/C systems can reduce HVAC efficiency even more
- Ducts – duct problems include leakage into attics & garages (sometimes up to 40%), uneven room temperatures, and low air flow; all of these increase your energy bills
- Improperly vented appliances – can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide fumes
If you have specific concerns such as uneven room temperatures or high energy bills, finding a professional Home Energy Auditor may be the best option. A professional auditor has many tools and techniques for assessing your home’s energy efficiency including:
- Infrared cameras – to help identify gaps in your insulation
- Blower door test – to uncover energy dollars that are escaping outside through leaks
- Duct test – to measure your duct system leakage and efficiency
It’s important to find a certified Home Energy Auditor to ensure you are getting a quality audit. Check out one of the nationally-recognized trade organizations to find a certified contractor in your area: Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) & Building Performance Institute (BPI).