All houses have myriad points where energy is lost. Faulty wiring, bad insulation, leaky doors and windows and dirty air ducts are all sources of lost energy. You may not know how much energy you waste. Every place in a house heat is squandered adds to your utility bills. Having your home professionally audited can help you determine what the most cost-effective improvements will be.
Energy audits assess the overall energy efficiency of your home as well as specific systems. The most common problem is an inefficient central heating system. Hot air lost through leaks in walls, doors, windows and ducts adds significant annual costs. About half the energy used in a typical home is consumed by heating and cooling. You can do an energy audit yourself or contact an independent professional to perform them.
Professional auditors go over the house in extensive detail. They go through the house room-by-room and note any existing problems. Condensation on windows and drafty rooms are tell-tale signs of energy issues. Comparing these indicators with past utility bill data can yield an initial estimate of how much money is wasted per year.
To find out how energy can be conserved, the professional will ask about the daily behavior of residents. Is any family member’s home during working hours? What is the average thermostat setting for summer and winter? How many residents are there? Finally, is every room in the house in use? These questions can provide specific actions and changes to use energy efficiently.
Auditors also use equipment such as door blowers and infrared cameras. The cameras allow the auditor to see precisely where heat is lost throughout the house. A door blower is a large fan that fits into the frame of the front door. Turning it on lowers the air pressure inside the house. Using a small device that generates smoke, the auditor can demonstrate where leaks are present.
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