Perhaps one of the smartest decisions you can make when buying a home is to take into account the level of energy efficiency the house is capable of. Why throw money into keeping a home running instead of only paying for what you actually use? Having a home energy audit done on your home can tell you how efficient your home is, as well as what can be improved, and what may have already been done to conserve energy.
Self-Assessment vs. Professional Opinion
There are two types of home energy audits, a self-assessment, and a professionally assessed audit. The first is available through a free, online checklist. You can usually find these on your local utility company’s website or through your state’s government energy site. The upside to this type of self-assessment is that it is free and quick to achieve. The downside is that the checklist tool found on these sites is pretty generic, and may not cover specific details about where you are losing energy. By having a professional administer the audit, you can take advantage of their technical tools like a Blower Door, a Duct Buster, and an Infrared Camera. Your home energy audit professional will perform a series of tests and will enter the correct information into a specific software used for energy audits. You will know exactly where your home is losing energy and exactly what needs to be done to correct it.
Not-So-Obvious Places Where Energy is Wasted
The leaky windows and drafty doors are easily recognizable as places for improvement, but what about the places we can’t see or feel? Many people leave a room in their home and completely forget about the appliances still running. Even if you turned them off, energy is still being fueled to power up at a moment’s notice. Typical appliances are microwaves, stereos, toasters, and light fixtures. Another place we often forget about is the fireplace. A natural wood-burning fireplace is designed to expel the smoke up and out of the home. The problem with this is that it still expels air even when there is no fire roaring. Keeping the flue closed when not in use and turning off the heater in your home can prevent warm air from being blown out through the chimney.
Where to Find a Qualified Professional Energy Auditor
A home energy audit should be completed by either the Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET) or the Building Performance Institute (BPI). These two agencies partner directly with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. A professional home energy audit will range in price from $300-$500, depending on the size of your home and the type of information you are looking for. This price can very well be paid for times over from the amount of savings you will be able to collect on energy bills for years to come.
For more information about energy efficiency or a home energy audit, contact your local HVAC professionals at Comfort Experts today.