Keeping your energy bills low in our climate means squeezing all the benefits you can out of the electricity and fuel you use. A professional home energy audit will determine if your home is energy-efficient by uncovering ways you can squeeze even more value out of that energy used. By making home improvements to save energy, you will feel more comfortable and save money, too. In fact, making the improvements your energy audit suggests could cut between five to thirty percent off your energy bills, depending on your home’s current efficiency level.
Home Energy Audits Do More Than Save Money
Check the Internet or any home improvement magazine and you will find that there is no shortage of tactics for improving a building’s energy efficiency. The problem with sourcing ideas this way is that you can’t be sure which solution is relevant for your home’s needs. In some houses, air leakage is the biggest cause of energy loss, while in others, old appliances or a lack of insulation is the main problem.
What to Expect From a Home Energy Audit
During a home energy audit, an experienced heating and cooling technician will comprehensively inspect your home, covering all the areas that may be wasting energy. The technician will perform a number of tests and, at the end of the audit, provide you with a list of recommended efficiency improvements based on hard data about your home. You will be equipped with the knowledge you need to get the most bang for your home improvement buck.
Plugging up your home’s energy leaks not only lowers the cost of heating, cooling and running your other appliances, but it also has benefits you can feel. Efficiency-boosting improvements can solve comfort problems like uneven temperatures, chilly drafts, cold walls, and air that is too humid or dry.
An audit can also uncover problems in your home that have gone unnoticed so far, such as moisture damage and mold growth. You will be able to discover issues while they are still relatively minor.
How a Home Energy Audit Spots Waste Problems
To begin the audit, your experienced technician will interview you about any energy-related difficulties you have been experiencing and about your lifestyle habits. Your energy bills for the last 12 months will then be reviewed. The technician will visually inspect your home to take note of its features, such as its square footage, and number and type of windows. After this, several tests will be performed with specialized equipment.
- Measuring air leaks – Air leaks around windows, appliance vents and other areas add up to a lot of wasted conditioned air. All this waste forces your furnace and A/C to use more energy to maintain your temperature. To measure your home’s air leakage, the technician will perform a blower door test. A large fan, or blower door, will be set up in an exterior doorway to make the extent of your air leakage easier to measure. Caulk, weatherstripping and spray foam insulation can be used as appropriate to block the leaks so you can enjoy more of your heated and cooled air.
- Uncovering insulation problems – Adding insulation where necessary keeps more of your heated air inside for longer in winter and keeps the sun’s heat out longer in summer. Your furnace and air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to maintain comfortable temperatures. To accurately pinpoint your home’s areas of radiant heat loss and gain, the audit tech will scan your home with an infrared camera. The resulting images show different temperatures in different colors, indicating exactly where energy waste is occurring. These are the areas that could be improved by adding insulation.
- Evaluating appliances and lighting – Your technician will test the performance of appliances to see if you could benefit from upgrading to newer, more efficient models. Home lighting will also be reviewed because it can account for 10 percent of your energy bill. Switching to or other efficient lighting can keep your home just as bright for less money.
Contact Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about how you may benefit from a home energy audit. Check out our other energy-saving solutions, or give us a call at 847-272-5836 to schedule an appointment for your Northbrook area home!