Are you considering an energy evaluation but aren’t sure what you’ll get? This guide will tell you what you can expect and what an energy auditor will do.
A professional energy evaluation is simply an assessment of how your home consumes energy and protects itself from energy losses. It involves testing to see how efficiently HVAC systems operate, as well as exploring areas such as hot water use and lighting.
There are ways that you can evaluate your home yourself, such as:
- Checking for air leaks near windows and in attics
- Looking for adequate insulation levels
- Switching out lighting for energy-efficient bulbs
However, a professional can give you much more detailed information and offer suggestions for improvement. An auditor conducts a thorough investigation by examining you and your family’s habits, how you use energy, and how you use energy-consuming equipment and appliances in your home. The auditor also examines utility bills, looking for patterns of use or spikes in energy use.
In addition to compiling usage information, the auditor assesses the home’s square footage and characteristics (for example, how many levels, if a basement is present, etc.), as well as how the number and quality of windows impact energy.
The evaluation also involves the use of some pretty sophisticated equipment that gives auditors valuable information. There are things that the equipment reveals that the naked eye cannot. The evaluation may include:
- A blower door: a device that checks for air leaks
- An infrared camera: a camera that shows leaks and low insulation levels
By combining the family’s patterns and characteristics of the household with sophisticated testing equipment, the energy evaluation reveals clear areas of weakness and suggests ways to improve energy use. Some of the areas of improvement might include window and HVAC equipment upgrades, using an energy-efficient water heater, or having a professional seal air leaks.
Consider an energy evaluation. Often, contractors reimburse the cost of the energy evaluation when you take on a suggested improvement. Ernst Heating and Cooling are trusted professionals in the Metro-East area. Call them with your questions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Ernst Heating & Cooling services Hamel, Illinois and the surrounding areas.