Energy Assessments Find Hidden Energy Leaks
Find Out Where YOUR Home is Losing Energy:
(By Stu Silverman)
When assessing their energy use, many people forget to consider the energy that escapes through the fireplace, attic, ducts, walls, and other less obvious places. That's why a home energy assessment is a smart way to examine your entire home's energy use - including the places you can't see.
Energy auditors see things you can't see
Through the use of specialized equipment, energy auditors can examine your home to find the root causes of your discomfort and energy bill woes. For example, they use infrared cameras to measure how much insulation you have - or don't have - inside your walls. A "blower door" is used to determine how much air is escaping through cracks and holes in the building envelope. And duct leakage testers are used to test the amount - and location - of air that leaks out of your ducts before it can reach the rooms of your home.
Home energy assessments uncover the less obvious culprits
A home energy assessment will uncover the areas of your home that are wasting energy and costing you money unnecessarily. These include some of the more obvious causes, such as windows and doors, as well as the not-so-obvious culprits like the fireplace, attic and air ducts.
Is your attic costing you big bucks?
While many people consider the attic to be nothing more than a storage area for unwanted items, they don't realize that their attic could be a huge source of energy loss that's costing them big bucks.
Do you know if your attic has proper insulation? Do you have vents in the attic that maintain air circulation? Failing to circulate air in the attic can destroy both the roofing and the precious items you keep in the attic. A home energy auditor is able to assess the amount and quality of insulation in your attic, the effectiveness of the ventilation, and how much energy is being wasted due to inefficient insulation and ventilation. Your home energy auditor can work with attic insulaton contractors and HVAC contractors to make sure your home is performing safely and efficiently.
Air escapes through the "attic hole"
Your home should have insulation in the ceiling to prevent your heated or cooled air from escaping through the ceiling and into the attic, where it will simply be exhausted out of the house. But what about the entrance to the attic? If the entrance to your attic is the "hole in the ceiling" type, is the cover insulated? Is it tightly sealed, or are the edges letting heated or air conditioned air escape? Do you know how much energy - and money - you're wasting through this type of inefficiency? Insulating the entrance to your attic and sealing the edges around it can reduce your heating or cooling costs by up to 25 percent.
Fireplaces are often huge energy wasters
Fireplaces are another common culprit for a home's energy loss, and pose particular challenges for regulating the temperature in the home. The chimney is designed to move smoke out of a home by using the rising heat as a means of propulsion. The problem arises when you aren't using the fireplace, and hot air rises up though the chimney and out of the house.
The first step to preventing heat loss through the chimney is to ensure that the flue is closed when the fireplace is not in use. An open flue will suck the hot air straight from your vents and up the chimney, and you're left paying the bill to heat your entire neighborhood. Similarly, a flue that doesn't provide a tight seal will allow hot air from your home to leak through to the outside.
Savings can really add up!
These are just a few of the hidden places that energy might be escaping from your home. With a home energy assessment, you'll discover many ways to make your home more comfortable and start saving money on your energy bills immediately. The money you'll save on your energy savings often offset the cost of the audit in as a little a few months. And you'll continue to save money on your energy bills each month. Over the course of a year, and over several years, those savings can really add up!
Schedule a home energy assessment with a certified auditor today!
Home Energy Efficiency Tips:
- General Energy Saving Solutions The Energy Star Program
- Simple Energy Saving Strategies Home Insulation
- Home Assessment Overview Energy Features, Green Your Home
- Energy Efficiency Mortgages & Grants Energy Efficient Mortgage
We were unaware of what was involved in an energy audit and your audior took the time to explain everything. We were impressed with the report which told us the areas in which we need to take action on. He never pressured us to use any particular contractors, he just suggested that we go to the Building Energy Pros web site to select contractors of our own choice. He did an excellent job and we HIGHLY recommend the Building Energy Pros. We already have recommended them to several of our neighbors. Again, EXCELLENT JOB!
The Building Energy Pros auditor was very knowledgeable. I was VERY HAPPY with him. He promptly E-mailed my energy audit report to me and I will consider all of his recommendations.
We found out that our house really has no energy problems. We are happy to know that we
I was very satisfied with your energy auditor. He was very qualified and spent a great deal of time with me. The energy audit was very informative.
The energy auditor was very good and helpful. He keeps in touch with me to answer any of my questions.
I was very satisfied with my energy audit. The auditor gave me some tips on attic insulation that were very helpful.
I was very satisfied with my energy audit. Thank you!
Very good service! I am going to replace the windows as the auditor had suggested.
I was very happy with the energy audit. THANKS!
My energy audit was very helpful. Joe Dempsey, your auditor, identified some structural problems that I was not aware of and explained to me why I need more insulation.
The auditor was EXCELLENT! He spent ALOT of time with me. I am going to take 3 to 4 of his suggestions and correct these small items to save on my energy bills.
The auditor did a GREAT JOB! He knew a lot about older homes, which we have. The report was very comprehensive. Thank you!
Your energy auditor was very nice and helpful. He answered all of our questions. We will recommend Building Energy Pros to our friends and neighbors.
The auditor did a TERRIFIC JOB! The report was FANTASTIC! I will make all the repairs he suggested. I will definitely recommend him to everyone I know that could benefit from a home energy audit.
Steve Sleigh, Chevy Chase
The energy auditor was very professional and I am very satisfied with both the energy audit and the report I received. I will be referring the Building Energy Pros.
I was very satisfied with the auditor. He was great and gave me some very valuable information. I will refer him to people I know who may need a home energy audit.
Your home energy audit proved to be very informative and helpful. I was not aware of the updraft created inside our walls because of the balloon framing construction. You said that that can cause heat to be pulled out of the house with the draft going up inside the walls and should be re-mediated. You also said that the attic insulation was insufficient and that fiberglass batts can leave spaces for around the edges causing heat loss and that it should have blown in insulation on top of what was there to seal the whole attic and increase the r factor. After going over your findings and telling me how you would fix the problems you told me how I could do it myself with stuff from the Home Center and for a quarter of the cost. Well, I did. I went into the basement and filled the bottom of the wall joist with unfaced insulation where they set on the sill plate. I then cut one inch foam board the size for each space and set it in and the sealed the edges of that with expanding foam as well as the sill plate to the foundation. I also sealed the sill plate to the foundation where the joist ran along it, as well as the top of those joist where it made contact with the subflooring. Next I went to the home center and rented their blown insulation machine and got ten bales of the insulation. I filled the attic on top of the batt insulation with about six inches giving another r-19 factor on top of the r-19 that was there. You said that the blown in would also help seal the heat loss around the edges of the batt. The work in the basement cost $144.00 and the work in the attic cost $328.00. After the 30% federal energy tax credit it will end up costing me about $330.00, which you said I should recover in savings in the first year. Thank You for all your advice and expertise. You made me aware of things I should consider and did.