Month: May 2017

How a Professional Home Energy Audit Will Save You Money

home-energy-auditor

Do you feel like your home’s utility bills are higher than expected? If it costs more to heat your home in winter, chances are that it might cost more to cool your home in summer. But did you know that you can save anywhere between 5%-30% on your energy costs just by ordering an energy audit for your property?

Do I Need an Energy Audit?

If you are not sure if an energy audit is for you, answer the following questions:

  1. Are you remodeling?Thermographic-heat-inspection
  2. Do you want to “go green”?
  3. Do you have high utility bills?
  4. Are you interested in energy efficiency?
  5. Do you want to increase the value of your home?
  6. Are some areas of your home too hot or too cold?

What Exactly is an Energy Audits

An energy audit is an inspection and analysis of your property. The main purpose of this type of inspection is to determine the energy efficiency of your home. This may involve a room-by-room examination of your home. It also involves the analysis of several characteristics of your home, including the windows, ceiling, floors, doors and more.

Many professional energy assessments will include the following methods:

  • blower door test
  • thermographic scan

A “blower door” is a machine used to physically locate air leaks. The blower door fan is temporarily sealed into an exterior doorway using the door panel system. All the interior doors are opened, exterior doors are closed, and some other preparations are made. Once ready, the blower door fan blows air into or out of the home, creating either a positive or negative pressure differential that can be measured. It can also be used to test ductwork airtightness and measure airflow between zones.

A thermographic inspection makes use of an infrared scanning device to detect temperature variations on the interior or exterior of your property. The images collected by this device will help to determine whether or not insulation is required in certain areas.

Once testing has been completed, a written report estimating the energy efficiency of your home will be completed by the professional who did the audit. The report will take into consideration factors such the local climate criteria, roof overhang, as well as the solar orientation.

The auditor will also take other factors into consideration such as:

  • How many people live in the home?
  • Is anyone home during working hours?
  • Are there any areas not being used?
  • What is the average thermostat settings for summer and winter?

How To Prepare Your Home for an Energy Audits

When you are expecting an energy auditor, you should take some time to prepare your home. This will help the auditor get the most accurate results. This could include some of the following:

  • move some furnitureenergy-audit-inspection
  • removing the drapes
  • clear space for ladder access into the attic
  • clear space for access to crawl space, knee wall, or other access hatches

Make a list of all the issues you may be experiencing. This may include things like drafty rooms or areas where condensation is a problem. Also be sure to have copies of your monthly utility bills on hand for the auditor to scrutinize.

How Much Do Energy Audits Cost?

Home energy audits are sometimes subsidized by local governments or utilities. However, you should expect to budget anywhere between $300-$500. Contractors also tend to reduce the costs

Some contractors will also offer reduced rates should you hire them to make the recommended improvements to your house.

 

Categories: Save Money

9 Ways To Save Money by Going Green

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Go-green-and-save

When you decide to go green, the possibilities become endless. Modern homeowners are not only aware that green living starts at home and doing their bit to save the planet….going green allows you to save valuable dollars at the same time!

Green properties have also been on the radar for a long time now…so if you’re in the market to sell your home, it should interest you to know that green properties sell faster…and for significantly more!

Go Green and Save

If you want to do your bit for the environment and embrace green living at the same time, why not try some of the following tips to help you limit your energy usage so that you can keep your energy bills to a minimum.

1. Replace old light bulbs with CFL

For a small investment, you can save hundreds of dollars by replacing your old light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent lights, also called CFLs. You don’t have to change all of them at once, but once you do, they might last as long as 10 years!

2. Unplug everything

When you’re not using an appliance or other electronics, they may still be using up valuable electricity.

Turn-off-computerJust by being plugged in, DVD players, modems, computers, and a wide array of other comforts we have in our homes all use unnecessary electricity when they remain plugged in after being used.

As for your phone, once that light goes green, you’re wasting electricity.

If you take a few seconds every time just to unplug your electonics once they’re no longer being used, you could save yourself hunders, if not thousands of dollars over time.

3. Buy energy-efficient products

Many of the modern appliances, electronics, heating and cooling systems, lighting and more available on today’s market come with an energy efficient rating. These may come at a higher price tag compared to standard products, but the savings will be worth it over time. Always look for the Energy Star rating if you want to invest in a green lifestyle.

4. Recycle

If you’re able to recycle, why not save all your bottles and cans for a monthly trip to the bottle return center.  While it’s true that you might only save just over $100 per year by recycling used materials like aluminum cans or glass bottles, cultivating a culture of recycling is important for society at large. There are also several economic advantages of recycling in the long-term.

5. Save water to save money

Faucet-aeratorNot only can you take shorter showers – why not install a low flow showerhead?

This could reduce your water usage 25-60%, which means big savings on your bills.

Cheap and easy to install water aerators will help to reduce the flow of water, which will also reduce the costs of your water heating.

6. Save on wash day

Wait until you have a big load before you do the washing. And when the time comes, be sure to use cold water. This will save water and energy on wash day. You should also hang your clothes on the line. Dryers don’t come that Energy Star rating that guarantees savings and you could save a ton of money.

7. Consider solar power

Solar energy is not only abundant – it also holds a number of benefits for the environment. After all, the sun is the one resource that most countries around the world have in abundance. With so many government and local incentives, going solar has never been easier. Solar panels on your roof will allow you to start saving on your bills as soon as they are switched on.

8. Turn off the water heater

If you’re simply looking for a quick, no-cost, energy efficient way of saving money, just turn your water heater down. Nobody needs the water coming from your taps to be as hot as it can be. Adjusting your water heater to around 120 degrees could save up to 10 % in water heating costs. Homeowners can also consider a tankless water heater that avoids round-the-clock storage of hot water, as well as constant heat loss.

9. Programmable thermostat

According to the Energy Department, homeowners can save an estimated 10% every year on heating and cooling costs by installing a programmable thermostat. You can adjust the times you turn on the heating or cooling according to a schedule that will help you save money.