Why You Need a Home Energy Audit Now

Why You Need a Home Energy Audit Now

With the holidays around the corner, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs and save money in any way possible. Instead of spending money on rising energy bills this winter, why not consider having a home energy audit done, which will free up some extra cash to spend on family and friends. It’s a win, win. Homeowners opting to have an energy audit done can kill two birds with one stone; they will be saving money and reducing their energy consumption, meaning they are also helping to improve the environment, in just a few simple steps. Home energy audits are intended to help homeowners determine exactly where they are losing energy and money at home, and offer guidance on what measures they can take to resolve those issues.

Heat measurement on replacement windowsTrained professionals, termed energy auditors, will come to your home and inspect it for leaks, insulation holes, furnace problems and other issues. Often they will use an infrared camera which produces images of heat differences, as opposed to a regular camera, in which images of light are produced. These thermal imaging tests are critical in determining exactly where heat is being lost and are particularly useful for inaccessible areas such as attics and behind walls.

Another test common during energy audits is the blower door test. Blower door tests measure air leakage in cubic feet per minute at 50 pascals of pressure. A pascal is just a unit of air pressure. A blower door is a tool used to depressurize homes. In other words, it is bringing a home’s air pressure to a standard level.  This depressurization essentially magnifies a home’s air leaks, therefore enabling an energy auditor to easily determine problematic areas. Essentially, it is similar to submerging a ball underwater and looking for air bubbles to determine where the leak is.

If you have decided to go ahead with an energy audit, there are a few ways that you can prepare yourself and your home to simplify and quicken the process. First of all, unless completely unavoidable, you should schedule your energy audit during a time that you can be at home. A good auditor will conduct a thorough examination of each room in your home, and will ask for additional information about the living environment. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, common questions asked are:

  • Is anyone home during working hours?
  • What is the average thermostat setting for summer and winter?
  • How many people live here?
  • Is every room in use?

Depending on your answer, the energy auditor may be able to suggest ways to further reduce your energy consumption and lower your bills. Speaking of bills, you should obtain the most recent copies of your utility bills to go over with the energy auditor. Creating a list of rooms or areas in your home that you have found to be particularly drafty, warm, or a room that has excessive condensation on the windows. Choosing vinyl replacement windows are a great energy efficient option in that they won’t rot from excess condensation either. Properly preparing for the energy audit will only aid the energy auditor’s ability to help lower your bills and save you time.

While hiring a professional is of course the best way to go about conducting an energy audit, some may choose to conduct their own “do-it-yourself” energy audit. If you have decided that this is the better route for you and your family, there are a few tips that can help you. The first thing you will want to do is to check for air leaks. Common problematic areas are along baseboards or edges of flooring, as well as junctures of walls and ceilings. Upon finding these leaks, you should be prepared to seal them with the appropriate materials, such as caulk or weatherstripping, depending on where the leak is actually located.

Another factor to consider in the insulation. In the attic, it is best to make sure that areas surrounding piping, chimneys, and electrical boxes are sealed tight. Attic vents should not be blocked by any insulation. Without a professional, checking for insulation within walls is difficult and potentially dangerous. If you check yourself, be completely sure that the circuit breaker is switched off and there is no electricity being transmitted. Carefully remove the metal plate around an outlet. You can then probe inside the wall to feel if there is any insulation located inside. Unfortunately, you will need a tool such as an infrared camera to determine if there is insulation throughout the entire wall.

Regularly checking heating and cooling equipment, and changing filters periodically will also help to reduce energy costs. Energy efficient light bulbs such as CFLs or LEDs can help to decrease lighting costs and may also qualify you to receive rebates for buying energy saving bulbs.

If you’re looking for home replacement windows in CT or MA, Advanced Window Systems has the beautiful vinyl replacement windows you are looking for. Contact us now 1-800-CALL-AWS for a FREE in home estimate.


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