Just How Energy Efficient is Your Home?

Saving money on energy bills might be easier than most homeowners think. The key to lower bills is energy efficiency.. An energy audit looks for leaks, inspects the heating and cooling system, evaluates the insulation, and makes recommendations for improvements. An audit can be done by a professional or by a homeowner with a plan.

Professional energy auditors use a number of specialized tools. One tool is thermography, in which an infrared camera gives a visual picture of the surface temperatures of a home, showing where heat might be escaping. This technology is often used with a blower door test. The test uses a blower door that fits in a door frame and pulls air out of the home measuring the airflow and highlighting any air leaks.

A do-it yourself energy inspection is not as thorough as a professional inspection but it can be a good place to start. The first step is to look for leaks and drafts and then sealing those leaks to increase the airtightness of the home. The next step is to examine the insulation. Check the insulation in the attic, paying special attention to any openings from chimneys or duct work, including the attic door opening. Wall insulation can be checked by looking behind any electrical outlets (with the power turned off) or making a small hole in a closet.

The next step is to check efficiency rating of the current heating and cooling system and sealing any leaks in the ductwork. Finally, don’t forget that energy saving lighting and appliances impact the energy bill so make them as efficient as possible. There are also some steps that a homeowner can take to save energy. One is unplugging items not in use, such as cell phone charges or appliances that are rarely used. Another way to save is to change the settings of the heat and cooling systems so they turn off automatically when no one is home. Also, upgrading to more efficient appliances can save energy. A combination of an energy audit and these strategies can result in a big break on energy bills. More information about energy audit and energy efficient products can be found at the U.S. Department of Energy.

To learn more about the home energy audits or to schedule an energy audit,  give us a call today to schedule an energy audit call us today 301.842.8818!