An energy efficient home costs less to heat and cool and is less susceptible to changes in the weather. Do you get a huge bill in the winter, but barely pay any money in the summer? That can make it hard to budget. Energy efficient homes are great at conserving energy, so your home retains its heat in the winter and its cold air in the summer. If you want to increase the energy efficiency of your Raleigh or Wilmington home, consider a home energy assessment.
What Is a Home Energy Assessment?
A home energy assessment determines how well your home is conserving energy. During the energy assessment, your technician will examine key areas of energy conservation to see where the home might be leaking air, losing heat, or lacking insulation. A home energy assessment can save you money immediately and in the long term by sussing out problems before they worsen. Let’s look at some of the issues an energy assessment 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. Between 20 and 30 percent of the conditioned air moving through your ducts is typically lost due to leaks; that’s some pricey overhead! The most obvious source of air leakage is under-door drafting, but any place where two different materials meet can leak air. The Department of Energy identifies over a dozen trouble spots undermining your energy conservation efforts. Even your electrical outlets and light switches are potential weak points! The technician conducting your home energy assessment might 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 assessor then uses a smoke pencil to identify any air leaks.
Inadequate insulation can undermine all of your energy conservation efforts. This is especially true in older homes, since less insulation was required when the home was built. It isn’t difficult to check the insulation levels in your attic, but it’s hard to see how well your external walls are conserving energy. The best way to determine this is through thermal imaging.
During the energy assessment, the assessor will use a special camera to 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. Thermal imaging doesn’t just help with energy conservation; it can also help identify undetected roof leaks.
Inspect Your Heating and Cooling Equipment
Manufacturers recommend annual inspections of heating and cooling equipment, in addition to regular maintenance by the homeowners.. 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, consider replacing it with a newer model. This can dramatically increase efficiency, conserving energy and saving you money.
Check Your Lighting
Reevaluating how you light your home may seem like an unusual source of energy conservation. In fact, lighting accounts for around 9% of your electricity consumption. Try conserving energy by replacing standard light bulbs with LEDs, and see what the impact is on your electric bill.
To be sure that you’re achieving the greatest energy efficiency in your North Carolina home, contact Newcomb and Company for a home energy assessor. We proudly serve your community, from the Triangle to the coast. Call today to schedule your home energy assessment.