Energy efficiency is an end goal for many businesses and homeowners. Energy efficiency is a great way to save money, maintain a clean and healthy environment as well as reduce your carbon footprint.
What Is A Home Energy Audit?
A home energy audit is performed by a licensed HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) contractor or energy auditor. The audit identifies all of the factors which are contributing to your HVAC system being inefficient, as well as potentially unhealthy.
A home energy audit starts by reviewing your energy bills over the past year or two, as well as asking you questions about how you use energy. This helps the auditor understand how energy is used in your home.
When many people think of energy audits, they think about the blower test. This is when the auditor places a large fan at one door of the house and turns it on while the rest of the doors and windows are closed, sucking air out of the building.
If air pressure falls quickly, it tells the auditor your home is sealed well. If the air pressure falls slowly, it means there are many leaks in your home where air is coming in. An infrared camera is used to pinpoint where the leaks are, as well as where insulation may be underperforming
An audit will also inspect the ductwork of your home, looking for leaks in the HVAC system itself.
Once these steps are completed, you’ll have the information you need to decide how to fix issues or make improvements to maximize your energy efficiency.
Why You Should Maximize Energy Efficiency With A Home Energy Audit
Identifies Problems Early
A home energy audit will help you identify problem areas of your home quickly and before any more energy (and money) is lost.
Whether you need additional insulation, patchwork on walls or around windows, duct repair or replacement, new doors or some general maintenance, catching it early can save you lots of money over the long run.
May Be Eligible For Rebates/Discounts
Once an audit is done and you’ve identified the work you might like to do, it’s time to investigate what rebates or discounts might be available.
If you’re part of an energy cooperative (a utility may offer this as well,) you may be eligible for rebates on the work you do to become more energy efficient. Caulking or weatherstripping windows, upgrading HVAC appliances, replacing windows/doors and more may be eligible.
The utility or cooperative may send someone to your home to inspect the work after it is done, and then issue the rebate, which can be up to 50% of your costs depending on the company and product.
As always, becoming more energy efficient could save you from 5-30% off of your energy bill after fixing and upgrading the areas identified in the home energy audit.