If your heating and cooling bills have begun to spiral out of control, it may be time for a home energy audit. Assessing your home’s energy consumption is the first step toward figuring out what you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
The point of an energy audit is to identify the areas of your home that are losing energy. These areas include your home’s heating and cooling system, hot water heater, and electrical. Correcting problems in these areas will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also reduce your energy bills significantly over time.
Any homeowner can conduct a simple energy audit, but for more detailed results you can call in a professional. A thorough energy audit utilizes blower door tests, thermography, and other techniques to detect areas of air infiltration and missing or insufficient insulation.
A professional audit includes a list of action steps for how you can reduce the energy expenditure in your home while improving its comfort level.
A full analysis should include:
• How much you currently spend on energy.
• Where your greatest energy losses are.
• How long it will take for new energy-efficient products and appliances to pay for themselves in energy-cost savings.
• What additional benefits you may garner from your energy-saving measures, such as increased comfort from better insulated walls.
Now ask yourself these important questions:
• How long do I plan on staying in my home?
• Which energy-saving measures will significantly increase the value of my home?
• How much of the work can I do myself and what jobs will I need to contract out?
• How much ready money and time do I have to accomplish the measures recommended?
Based on the results of the home energy audit and your answers to these questions, you will be able to set priorities for maximizing your home’s energy efficiency while spending the least amount of money to save you the most amount.