As the temperatures slowly start to drop and you begin to turn up the heat, it’s a good time to make sure that your home is performing well in terms of energy efficiency. However, how can this be done? While there are steps you can take on your own to do an energy check, we recommend scheduling a home energy audit with a professional, which will save you money in the long run.
A home energy audit points out ways to upgrade or modify your home. Think of the audit as a checklist of to-do’s that you then have to do. The recommended improvements may cost you money upfront, but the bottom line is lowering your utility bills while increasing comfort.
What You Can Do To Start
If you suspect a problem or just want to upgrade the efficiency of your living space, there are simple steps you can do on your own. In the winter, go room-by-room inside your home and use your hands to feel for cold spots, signs that indicate air leaks, missing insulation and areas that could use an air vent to bring heat from your system into that space.
Some are obvious, like the drafts you feel around doors and windows. Others are hidden and need to be addressed by a professional in a careful diagnostic process. These unseen leaks are far more serious because there are more of them. Most occur at the top and bottom joints of your house, but here are other areas that need air sealing:
- Your attic hatch
- Plumbing vents
- Wiring holes
- Around canister lighting
- Furnace flue
- False ceilings
To drill down further, you’ll want to work with a professional home energy auditor or rater. A rater should do a very thorough evaluation that includes sophisticated equipment and techniques, specifically a calibrated blower door to expose air leaks in your building envelope and an infrared camera to make it easier for the auditor to see them.
An indoor survey is more accurate than one done outdoors, so schedule it when this is possible. In fact, time of year is a crucial factor in deciding when to have the audit done—the infrared system works best when there is the greatest difference in temperature between the air inside your home and the outside air. In northern regions, choose a dead-of-winter date when you’d have the heat cranked up; in southern regions, go for one of the dog days of summer when you’re blasting the A/C. Also pick a day when you can be home for the audit—the auditor should ask you many questions about your home and habits.
At Green Home Comfort we can provide home energy assessments and insulation assessments to make your home a more energy efficient structure. For a consultation give us a call or click here for a quote!