Home energy audits 101
It seems like everyone is going green these days. “Green” in this case can refer to both saving money and the environment. There are several ways to be more environmentally conscious at home. If you’ve never had a home energy audit, it might be time to get one. This detailed home examination by an HVAC professional will tell you:
- Where energy is being used inside your home;
- Where energy is being wasted; and
- Which fixes will save you the most money on your utility bills.
It costs more than $2,000 annually to heat and cool the average American household. What’s more, it simply isn’t enough to purchase a high-efficiency HVAC system and assume you’ll get what you pay for in energy savings. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for newly installed systems to fall far short in reducing utility bills by the amount you anticipated.
The good news? Addressing the house itself as an overall system – otherwise known as home performance – can give you the comfort, convenience and savings you deserve. And a home energy audit is the first step.
During the energy audit, your trusted HVAC pro will conduct an air-flow analysis or blower door test to identify possible air leaks. They’ll also do an evaluation of your duct work. Most homes have leaking or dirty ducts, which can waste energy and bring in contaminated air from your attic, crawlspace or basement. This can potentially damage your health along with the internal components of your HVAC equipment. Other aspects of the energy audit include an analysis of your utility bills, an assessment of your electrical system (for safety concerns) and an exterior inspection.
Professional audits aren’t cheap, but they can reveal targeted repairs that can lower your energy bills by 5 to 30 percent annually. In this case, the upfront cost is usually worth the money.