The idea of maintaining an energy efficient home isn’t necessarily about the concept of, “Go Green!” in the sense of keeping an eco-friendly lifestyle. It serves the practical function of saving you some green in the form of spending on your monthly heating and cooling bills. Often, excess energy is wasted through subtle means. While you may not realize you’re losing heat through a window or door draft, this loss adds up over time. Consequently, the more heated or cooled air you lose from inside, the more your HVAC system has to run. As a result, the more your HVAC system is running the higher your power bill is going to be.
Conducting a Home Energy Evaluation
According to EnergyStar, you can conduct an informal home energy evaluation of your own home to determine potential weak points where you’re losing money. Of course, if you don’t work in the field you probably aren’t going to be as efficient as a professional who understands common points of energy loss and has specialized equipment to evaluate such places, but you can certainly pay attention to what areas in your home always seem to feel cold during the winter, which rooms are never as comfortable as others, and check for noticeable drafts around windows and doors and then discuss with a contractor how to fix the compromised areas.
What to Expect with an Energy Assessment
Professional home energy auditing is going to start with the same type of assessment you’ve conducted, after asking about any problems you’ve noticed to review what might be causing them. Beyond that, the auditor will check the amount of insulation in your attic and in your basement or crawl space. Similarly, he may also check the insulation in your walls for integrity and make sure there is enough, especially if your home is older. During a thorough energy use investigation, the auditor might run a pressure test. This will tell them exactly where any air is escaping inside and outside your house. Additional tests may involve checking the temperatures in your floor and walls, or checking moisture levels in different places in your home.
Common Ways to Save Energy
Hands down, the simplest way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is with new windows. Windows can come out of alignment due to a variety of factors including:
- House settling over time
- Expansion in heat
- Contraction in cold weather
- Poor sealing
Compared to 5-10 years ago, there is better technology available with new windows. Likewise, doors are often a culprit of allowing cold air in and warm air out during the winter, or vice-versa during the summer. Replacing your old windows and doors with energy efficient options are a cost effective way to save energy and increase ROI.
- Conducting an energy assessment helps find which rooms are wasting power.
- Improving problem areas helps to lower your monthly electric bill.
- Perform an energy assessment to determine how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- New windows are likely the easiest way to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- Doors are also a common source of drafts and energy loss.
What to Do Next
Once you’ve realized problem areas in your home, or need a professional contractor to assist in conducting a home energy analysis, contact us at RWC. We’ll formulate a plan to make your house more energy efficient.