At the home show this weekend I had a homeowner ask me to explain why they should have an energy audit done on their home. Because I have been practicing this for so long, I realized I had forgotten that not everyone knows the benefits of having a home energy evaluation. So here is my list of the five reasons why every homeowner should have an energy audit done on their home.
Save Money! Building improvements are complicated and can cost a lot of money. Most people do not know which improvements will save them the most money. An energy audit will provide you with the information you need to safely update your home and start saving money. Typically an audit will include a prioritized list of improvements so you can pick away at them over time. Rarely do I find a homeowner who is able to address all the energy saving measures for their home all at once.
Be More Comfortable In Your Home! Occupant comfort level is attributed to several factors: Air Temperature, Relative Humidity, Moving Air, and Radiant Temperature. We expect thermal comfort in our homes. Heating and cooling of our homes requires 30%-70% of our annual energy consumption. Having a qualified professional tell you how to maintain a higher level of comfort in your home could save you tons of money! Replacing those old windows might not make your home less drafty. So let someone tell you where that draft is coming from, or why the floor is so cold.
It Isn’t As Simple As Adding Extra Insulation! Unfortunately, adding more insulation may not solve the issues you have in your home, and this could cost you a significant amount of money. Just knowing that the code requirements does not mean that you or your contractor understand how each type of insulation will perform in every application. To prevent mold, moisture, and condensation in a wall surface, an experienced auditor will make recommendations for insulation types to be used in each space.
Moisture Is Your Biggest Enemy! Creating the tightest, well insulated, home is a great achievement. However, now you have trapped moisture within the home and you must provide ventilation to maintain good indoor air quality. Having an energy audit done helps to evaluate moisture issues before the installation of energy saving measures, as well as, recommend solutions to provide proper indoor air quality after construction has occurred.
Safety First! Like all good ideas, improving the efficiency of your home can come with consequences as well. Tightening a home can cause a standard heating system to back draft. It can also trap excess moisture within the home. Providing a full evaluation on a home includes an exterior inspection, interior inspection, diagnostic tests on air infiltration, heating systems, and distribution systems. Taking into account how all of these parts work together makes for a safe and comfortable environment. Your house is a system of parts, each part dependant on another. Changing one thing can also affect many other components of your home.
So, before you decide to make any improvements to your home, have an energy evaluation done. It can save you time, money, and provide a safe environment for you and your family.