What Is a Home Energy Audit?
Additional insulation is almost always a good idea for your home, but wouldn’t it be great if you knew some specific improvements to make so that your HVAC system wouldn’t have to work so hard, leading to monthly savings on your utility bill? A home energy audit is one way for any homeowner to get that information. Before deciding on the merits of this whole-house inspection, it can helpful to learn more about home energy audits.
Basics of home energy audits. With the help of some high-tech equipment, it’s possible to determine where energy in your home is being wasted and what steps you can take so that your home is more energy efficient. Instead of blindly adding insulation and caulking throughout the entire house – which isn’t very cost-effective – a home energy audit spots particular areas where there are leaks or cracks or the temperature indicates additional insulation would be helpful. Home energy audits are recommended by the EPA, which estimates a homeowner could save between 5 and 30 percent on heating and cooling costs by making improvements based on the results of a home energy audit.
What to expect from a home energy audit. There are often a few specific pieces of equipment used during these audits to determine just how airtight and how warm or cold your home is. A blower door is actually an extremely powerful fan that can be mounted to the exterior of the front door in the home. The fan creates a pressure gradient so that lower pressure inside seeks cracks and openings to reach outside. The test can identify areas that need extra caulking or repairs to seal up cracks and leaks. A thermographic scan can be conducted inside or outside the home. The scan records light based on heat content. The cooler areas of your home will be black will the hotter areas will be white. For example, a scan of the attic can determine if the current level of insulation is uniform and adequate.
After the energy audit. An energy audit can be performed at any time in an effort to make your home more airtight. If you need to replace an HVAC system, that is a particularly good time to first schedule an energy audit. Then, it’s time to add insulation, caulk doors or windows or perhaps even upgrade windows to reduce cold air entering the home in the winter and escaping in the summer. After those improvements are completed, the energy efficiency of your new HVAC system will be heightened. This should mean considerable savings on your monthly utility bills.