If one of your New Year’s Resolutions centers on gaining better control of your finances, you might want to start the New Year right by calling for an energy audit. Now I know that anytime you hear finance and audit in the same sentence, you immediately jump to taxes and an IRS audit. But this time, that’s not what I am talking about. Get better control of your budget this winter by calling your local electrician for an energy audit or electrical system inspection.
Signs That a Home Energy Audit is Needed
- If you walk through your home and feel drafts
- If your floor feels cold in the winter
- If your electric bills are high
- If there are pockets of heat or cold as you walk your home
- If lights flicker or switches aren’t working properly
What is a Home Energy Audit?
A trained professional will utilize specialized equipment to evaluate the heating and cooling efficiency of a home or business. The goal of the audit will be reducing energy costs while maintaining or improving the comfort of the building occupants. An energy audit usually consists of three main areas of scrutiny; the building envelope, the mechanical systems, and user behavior.
When mailed, a letter is protected by an envelope. Your home’s envelope refers to ceilings, walls, floors, doors, windows, and skylights, or basically the physical structures that separate the interior of your home from the exterior environment. During an energy audit, each element of the envelope will be assessed for how well it resists heat loss and the element will be assigned an R-value. A higher R-value indicates better heat retention or efficient insulation properties. The EPA, through their Energy Star Program, publishes a schedule of recommended R-values based upon locality. Tax Credits are available for improvements made to existing homes. If an element of the building envelope receives an R-value that is below the recommended value, the auditor can make suggestions on ways to improve heat retention.
The second area of scrutiny in an energy audit will be the efficiency of operation provided by the mechanical systems that heat and cool your home. In other words, the auditor will look at your heater, air conditioner, and thermostat and assess them for physical condition, programming and efficiency of operation. If deficiencies are found, the auditor will provide recommendations to increase the efficiency of the mechanical systems. If new HVAC equipment is necessary your electrician can wire the system correctly to avoid an electrical hazard. Rose Brothers and Sons also correct faulty wiring to help reduce problems with your HVAC system.
An area that we as consumers of energy typically overlook is how our behavior affects the energy efficiency of our home. Do you turn off lights when you leave a room? Do you typically keep some interior doors closed? Do you have a programmable thermostat that allows adjustment of temperature based upon time of day and occupancy? After all, why heat or cool to the level of comfort of occupants if the occupants aren’t home. In addition, studies have shown that reducing the temperature of the room you sleep in is conducive to a good night’s sleep.
Following an energy audit your home will be given a report card. Common recommendations include;
- increase insulation in walls, ceilings, or basements
- repair or replace inefficient windows
- installing weather stripping
- repair or replace inefficient furnace
- Correct ductwork issues
- Fix electrical wiring
Rose Brothers & Sons can help you meet your New Years Resolution to conserve energy and meet budgeting goals. For service or repair of your electrical systems or for an electrical system inspection, call today.