Improving Household Energy Efficiency — Step One, An Energy Audit
If your heating bills seem to be out of hand this winter in the Metro-East area, your energy efficiency may be failing. A whole constellation of factors contribute to how much it costs to heat and cool your home, and inviting an energy auditor to review your home will help eliminate any second guessing on your part.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that half of your utility bills go toward heating and cooling your home. That’s a sizable piece of your budget. The good news is that you might be able to improve your energy efficiency by knowing exactly where you’re losing conditioned air. Besides testing your home, an energy auditor can make recommendations about your lifestyle that can contribute to lower bills and greater energy efficiency.
Before the auditor visits, compile a list of usage factors for your home. How many people are at home during the day, your family size, and the settings at which you heat and cool your home make a difference in your energy bills. It also helps to have a year’s worth of utility bills available for the auditor, who has the expertise to evaluate your bills based on lifestyle factors and the equipment you use.
During the audit, the inspector typically conducts a calibrated blower test to identify how much and where air is entering or escaping your home. Sometimes a thermographic scan shows where heat is entering or leaving the home’s structure. The blower test involves setting up a large blower in an exterior door and sucking the air out to identify where air is rushing back inside to fill the vacuum.
Once you know where the weak points in your home are, you can button it up by sealing leaks and adding insulation where it’s lacking in your home. It’s likely that you’ll see immediate improvement in your energy efficiency.
Ernst Heating & Cooling can help you with an energy audit, along with servicing and maintaining your heating and cooling equipment. This can result in better performance, adding to your system’s energy efficiency. Please contact us if you’d like to schedule a visit from one of our technicians.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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