Increasing Home Efficiency Begins With a Professional Energy Audit

August 18, 2014
Ross and Witmer

As the movement for “green” living continues to gain momentum, people are becoming more and more conscientious about their household energy use. You’ve likely heard about some of the different ways you can conserve more energy, and have probably put some of these ideas to work. For the next step in your energy savings endeavors, it’s advised that you have your home evaluated to discover areas where you can lower your energy usage even more. Professional home energy audits can result in a home that’s as great an energy-saving machine as it possibly can be. This means, of course, that you’ll save more money on your monthly utility costs as well. Learn more about how professional home energy audits can help you achieve maximum energy conservation in your Charlotte area home today.

What Typically Happens During Energy Audits?

Professional energy audits involve a step-by-step, room-by-room approach aimed at finding all the areas in your home that could become more energy efficient. The professional auditor will even examine the outside features of your home in order to gain a complete picture of your energy needs. A blower door test is used to assess the airtightness of your home, and a thermographic scan is conducted to figure where the leaks are located and where insulation is lacking. Furnace efficiency meters and surface thermometers may also be used to determine where energy is being wasted.

On top of performing a walk-through of your entire home, the auditor will study your past utility bills. You will also be asked questions such as how many people live in your home, if all of the rooms are used, if anyone is there during daytime hours, and what temperature the thermostat is typically set at during the summer and winter.

Why Are Professional Energy Audits Important?

Even if you’ve taken steps to lower energy use in your home, such as replacing appliances with energy-efficient models, there may be sources of energy waste in your home that you haven’t considered. Through the know-how of a professional, you will receive an in-depth, thorough analysis of these sources. Auditors are able to determine how much energy your home’s using and what improvements can be made. They also will offer you sound advice on continuing to keep your usage down.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, once you’ve implemented the recommended changes, you can save between 5 and 30 percent on your utility costs. What’s more, such improvements come with benefits on top of energy savings and having a “greener” home. For example, an HVAC system that operates as efficiently as possible results in better indoor air quality and a more comfortable living space.

Getting Ready For Your Home Energy Audit

You can do a few simple things to get ready for your home energy evaluation before the scheduled appointment (it’s best to get an energy audit in the spring or fall, before the cooling or heating seasons start, but any time of year is the right time to give your home an energy makeover). By being prepared, you can help the process go more smoothly for both you and the auditor. The following tips are meant to help you get organized ahead of time:

  • Find out if you are eligible for assistance with your home energy audit through local, state or utility company incentives.
  • Gather your energy bills for the past year. Your utility company can provide you with copies, if necessary. You may be able to access your account records online through your utility company’s website.
  • Make note of any problems you’ve noticed yourself, such as drafty rooms or condensation on windows.
  • Figure out basic information about your home such as its square footage and the size and number of your windows.
  • Jot down questions you would like to ask during the assessment (it’s a good idea to walk through your home with the auditor so you can better understand how energy loss may occur and so you are able to play a more active, informed role in making the improvements).

To get more information on professional home energy audits in the Charlotte area, please contact us at Ross & Witmer anytime.

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