When you’re thinking of buying a new home, you probably never consider discovering just how energy efficient it is. Energy efficiency directly impacts the cost of living in that home, so it may be a good idea to have an energy audit done on any home you’re thinking of purchasing. But even if you’re not in the market for a new home, it’s still a good idea to check your home’s energy efficiency. In in many cases, improvements can directly result in lower bills.
Self-Assessment vs. Professional Opinion
There are two types of home energy audits: The first is a self-assessment. Self- assessments are relatively easy to do because a number of audit checklists are available online. Your utility company can probably make one they recommend available to you. The only drawback to a self-assessment is it may not cover specific areas of your home.
The other type of assessment is a professional assessment, and what makes it different is you have someone who has the knowledge and skills to perform an assessment based upon your home in particular rather than a generic assessment that fits most homes. A professional will have resources available to check your home closely. Tools such as Blower Door, Duct Buster, and Infrared Cameras are often used by professionals to check the energy integrity of your home. By the time a professional audit is completed, you’re absolutely sure what needs to be done to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Not-So-Obvious Places Where Energy is Wasted
Leaky windows and drafty doors are obvious places to look for energy loss in your home, but there are many areas that are not so obvious. Many home appliances still use power even when they’re turned off. You can tell if you have one like that by simply turning it on. If it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice, it’s probably powered up all the time. Do you have a fireplace. If you’re not using it, you need to be sure the flue is closed. Otherwise, it’s expelling your home’s air right up that chimney and out into the world.
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 desire. Though it sounds like a lot of money, you’re potentially spending much more than you need to on your utility bills if energy efficiency issues aren’t corrected.
For more information about energy efficiency or a home energy audit, contact your local HVAC professionals at Comfort Experts today.