Have you ever been surprised by the amount of money you spend on your energy bills? Despite changing some of your habits, such as remembering to turn off the lights and unplug appliances, you may find that your energy bills only decrease slightly, if at all! Sometimes energy usage has less to do with your behaviour and more to do with the energy efficiency of your home. If this is the case, it is highly beneficial to conduct a home energy audit.
What are home energy audits?
A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment, is a way of determining how your home performs in terms of its energy efficiency. Home energy audits are typically conducted by an auditor from a company that specializes in energy audits. The auditor will assess various factors of your home in order to determine the level of energy efficiency as well as identify any opportunities for upgrades you may wish to make. Some of the things an auditor may look at include what kind of insulation you have in your home, how efficient your windows are, what type of water heater you have, and of course, how your home is heated and cooled.
Hiring a professional is a great way to determine exactly how your home performs in terms of energy efficiency. The knowledge and tools trained professionals are equipped with will make identifying possible causes of energy efficiency easy. For example, a blower door test is useful for identifying any holes that will cause your house to be drafty. A big fan is fitted to the front doorway and sucks the indoor air outside. This causes air to come rushing back into the house through any cracks or holes in your home, making them easy to identify.
DIY home energy audit
While there are many benefits to a professional home energy audit, there are also ways that you can test the energy efficiency of your home yourself. While this method will be less thorough, it is still a good way to identify any areas of your house that you need to address. Checking for drafts around doors and windows is a good place to start. Look for gaps or holes around the frames or caulking and make sure all doors and windows are closing properly.
Any issues you might find can be fixed using spray foam and caulking to fill in any holes or cracks you find. You may also want to make sure your home mechanical equipment is in good working order. Heating and cooling systems work best when they are serviced annually. Make sure you are cleaning and replacing items such as your furnace filter. If your heating and cooling units are over 15 years old, you may want to consider upgrading them to a more energy efficient model.
Benefits of energy efficient homes
One benefit to energy efficient homes is that they are better for the environment. The more insulated and draft-free your house is, the less energy that is required to keep your house comfortable year-round. This will cause less strain on the environment by reducing the amount of resources your home consumes. Additionally, the less energy you require, the more money you save! While undergoing energy efficient upgrades might cost you a bit more upfront, you will be spending less in the long run! Consider assessing your home in order to make it as energy efficient as possible.
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