Colder weather is a fact of life. When seasons change, energy costs soar. It’s never a bad time to think about increasing the energy efficiency of your Raleigh or Wilmington home. You want your home to be as comfortable as possible, and the best way to do that is to make it energy efficient. A great way to ensure increased energy efficiency is to have an energy audit performed on your house.
What Is an Energy Audit?
Energy audits are essential to determine how much energy your home is using, and how you can make your home more energy efficient. Having an energy audit performed on your home can save you money, immediately and in the long term. Let’s look at some of the issues an energy audit can identify and address.
Locating and Sealing Air Leaks
When outside air enters your home through cracks and leaks, it can significantly increase heating and cooling costs. Identifying and sealing leaks can make your home more comfortable and healthier place to live. The most obvious sources of air leakage is under-door drafting, but there are many other gaps that aren’t as obvious. Energy auditors use a blower door test to assess how airtight your home is. A powerful fan mounts in an exterior door to decrease air pressure in your home. The energy auditor then uses a smoke pencil to identify any air leaks.
Inadequate insulation can drive heating costs through the roof. This is especially true in older homes which may only have the amount of insulation that was required when the house was built. It’s easier to check the insulation levels in your attic, but it can be difficult to how well your external walls are insulated. The best way to determine this is through thermal imaging.
Using a special camera, the energy auditor can identify exactly where your home may be losing heat. Thermal imaging uses an infrared camera to detect temperature variations. This shows which parts of your home have enough insulation and which areas could benefit from added protection. Because wet insulation conducts heat faster than dry insulation, thermal imaging can also help identify undetected roof leaks.
Inspect Your Heating and Cooling Equipment
Manufacturers recommend inspecting heating and cooling equipment annually. Filters need to be checked regularly and replaced as needed, usually every other month. This is especially important during high usage periods. If your heating unit is more than 15 years old, you’ll want to consider replacing it with a newer model. This can dramatically increase energy efficiency, as well as saving you money.
Check Your Lighting
Reevaluating how you light your home may seem like an unusual place to look for energy efficiency. The fact that lighting accounts for around 10 percent of your electric bill is a good enough reason to think about changing your method of home lighting. You may want to consider replacing standard light bulbs with energy efficient incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
To be sure that you’re achieving the greatest energy efficiency in your North Carolina home, contact Newcomb and Company. We proudly serve your community, from the Triangle to the coast. Call today to schedule your free Energy Audit.