Why Get an Energy Audit? Why Get an Energy Audit?
The first step to making your home more energy efficient is to do a home energy audit. An energy audit will help assess how much energy is being used and evaluate what measures to take to improve your home's efficiency. Keep in mind that audits alone will not save energy. You must implement the recommended improvements.
Why Do We Need an Audit?
Over 46 million homes in the USA are under-insulated for the climate in which they are built. If your home is part of this statistic, then it could have poor air sealing of plumbing bypasses, electrical penetrations in top plates, and windows and doors that are improperly sealed.
An energy audit will help determine exactly where these energy-wasting deficiencies are and can show you how to correct these problems. Also, an audit will show you how much energy and money you can save yearly by having a more energy-efficient home.
The energy audit will consist of evaluating many factors that could be causing energy deficiencies. These factors include:
- Roof overhangs
- Window size and quality
- Insulation levels
- Air sealing and ventilation
- Mechanical systems operation and efficiency
- Local climate setting
- Carbon monoxide levels
- Appliance efficiency
You may also want to get an energy audit if you experience any combination of the following issues:
- High energy usage
- Drafty rooms
- Constant use of heating and cooling systems
- Significant temperature variances between rooms
- Moisture on the windows
- Excessive dust
- Inability to maintain consistent house temperatures
- Dry indoor air (winter season)
- Cold floors (winter season)
- Peeling exterior paint
The 5 Main Benefits of an Energy Audit
As you can see, an energy audit has many advantages to improving the quality of your home. Here are six main benefits of having an energy audit performed.
1. Lower Energy Bills and Increased Energy Savings
Your home's cooling and heating systems work much more effectively when the house is properly insulated and sealed. Also, the amount of time required to run these systems is reduced, saving you money. An energy audit will give you a concise report, which will help identify cost-effective measures that can be implemented to help your home run more efficiently.
2. Improved Home Comfort
Ever sat by a drafty window on a cold winter day? It can be very uncomfortable and forces you to turn up the heat to keep warm, costing you money on your energy bill. Having air leaks in your home can not only create an uncomfortable environment, but also an unhealthy one. An energy audit will point out where the leaks are coming from and provide you with cost-effective ways to seal the leaks.
3. Uncovered Unforeseen Problems
An energy audit may bring to light hidden problems such as improper ventilation, which causes the growth of mold or mildew that you may not be aware of.
4. Increased Market Value of Your Home
According to a study published by The Appraisal Journal, the market price of a home increases by $20 for every $1 decrease in annual energy costs. For instance, if you decrease your energy costs by $400 per year, the value of your home would increase by $8,000.
5. Wise Investment
Making valuable updates by fixing and improving problems in your home's energy usage can add great value to your home. Even after taking into consideration the money spent on improving the home, investing in measures which save energy can earn a return of up to 16% per year.