Home Energy Audit
Home Energy Audits are an assessment of your homes energy waste; identifying which parts of your home are using the most energy and making the highest contribution to your energy bill. It all starts with evaluating your utility bill, how much you use in kilowatt-hours and how much you are being charged per KWH. Understanding how your usage has changed over a few years can be very useful in identifying the biggest contributors to your bill and in tracking savings as you make changes.
An energy audit is useful on an existing home and can save energy from the start as you build a home. When building a home, checking for insulation leaks before the walls are completely sealed gives you the opportunity to plug all the leaks before the home is completed. What surprising building errors can be detected with an thermal imaging gun.
You have several options to start your home energy audit:
· Local utility companies offer free energy audits
· Do-It-Yourself energy audits are available on the web
· Energy consultants offer the most comprehensive assessment, expect to pay $100-$300
A comprehensive energy assessment includes:
· Thermal imaging or smoke test
· Blower door test – tests whole house for leakage
· R-rating tests – evaluates the insulation in the walls, attic and foundation
· Pressure Pan – checks duct work integrity
· Evaluate water heater and water usage
· Flue test and Carbon Monoxide
When I moved, I had the local utility company do a free whole house evaluation. It provided me with a good overall assessment of the energy efficiency of my home and they made some suggestions.
If I had been considering a new heating and air conditioning system, moving to an alternative energy option or a really comprehensive test, I would have gone with an Energy Auditor. While each utility company's evaluation is different, my utility company did not do thermal imaging or a smoke test, blower door tests, pressure pan, flue test or carbon monoxide.
Results and Recommendations
The utility company as well as the energy consultant will provide you a written report each are dependent on the tests that were completed. What you get for free will not compare to the comprehensive results from a consultant, but based on your needs it may be perfect.
The results of a comprehensive energy audit may include:
· A written report of the energy efficiency or lack of for each system
· Outline where the house is losing energy
· Determine the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems
· It may include the energy usage of all your appliances
· Phantom energy usage
· Recommendations for improvements
· Estimate of how much each improvement can save
· Outline how to conserve water and electricity.
Knowing what to expect in testing methods and how your results will be outlined will give you a head start as you interview consultants or speak with your utility company. You are now armed with knowledge, ask lots of questions so you have a good comparison of services and know what to expect.
A Home energy audit can be useful to making the most of your investment whether that is including solar panels, geothermal or another source of alternative energy, upgrading your windows, adding insulation or a solution for phantom energy usage. Making the most from your investment and saving money on your utility bills may be worth the time, effort and expense of a Home Energy Audit.Click Here to Leave Home Energy Audit and return home
Below are links to help you understand specifically how incentives and rebates, etc. apply to you:
Database of State Incentives
Energy Efficiency Home and Vehicle Tax Credits
Financial Opportunities for Consumers
Consumer Energy Tax Incentives