Do you find that some rooms in your home are always too drafty or too warm? Are your energy bills on the rise? Or, are you looking to live a little “greener” by using less energy all together? Any of these is a good reason to consider conducting an energy audit on your home. A home energy audit may identify home improvements or behavioral modifications that could help to protect your home, your family and the environment. The following information is provided by ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, which focuses on helping us all to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
Home Energy Audits
A home energy audit is often the first step in making your home more efficient. An audit can help you assess how much energy your home uses and evaluate what measures you can take to improve efficiency. But remember, audits alone don’t save energy. You need to implement the recommended improvements. ENERGY STAR provides extensive information about home improvement projects to enhance energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and increase comfort. You can perform a simple energy audit yourself, or have a professional energy auditor perform a more thorough audit.
If you have five minutes and your last 12 months of utility bills, use the ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick to compare your home’s energy efficiency to similar homes across the country and get recommendations for energy-saving home improvements from ENERGY STAR. You will also need to enter some basic information about your home (such as zip code, age, square footage, and number of occupants). If you don’t have your bills, contact your utility for a 12-month summary.
Hire a Professional Home Energy Auditor
If you are interested in getting specific recommendations for improving the efficiency of your home, consider contacting a professional Home Energy Auditor. A professional auditor can use a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of your home. Thorough audits often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation. Your first step should be to contact your utility to see if they offer free or discounted energy audits to their customers. If not, you can hire a home energy professional, such as a certified Home Energy Rater, to evaluate your home’s energy efficiency.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Where available, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR can help you cost-effectively improve your home’s energy efficiency. Specially-trained contractors evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment, recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results, and help you to get the work done. Find out if Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is offered near you.