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Did you know that every year over $13 billion worth of energy is wasted through holes, cracks, and poor insulation in homes? If you do the math, that’s more than $150 per household every year, and your home could be among those contributing to this wastage.
It may be hard to believe that a portion of the money you’re paying for power is for the energy you didn’t use, but it’s true. Not every unit that goes through your meter is being effectively utilized, which means that you’re also wasting your hard-earned money.
However, your home’s energy loss doesn’t just mean you’re losing money, it also means that you’re contributing to the excessive use of the Earth’s resources. If every home were doing the same, then much of the resources on this planet are simply going to waste. This may not seem like a big deal now, but it will be for the following generations.
Home Energy Audit: How Can It Help Save You Money?
Energy loss is at times inevitable, but it is possible to reduce the amount of the loss by getting a home energy audit done. Homes lose energy due to improper insulation, broken seals, cracks, and even energy-guzzling appliances and a home energy audit can identify which causes are present so they can be fixed as early as possible. This results in lower energy consumption, meaning you’ll be reducing your energy bills and your negative impact to the environment.
Studies show that by doing a home energy audit and then fixing discovered problems, a household can reduce its energy consumption by as much as 30%, and this much savings on your energy bills isn’t something to scoff at. That’s money that can go towards more fruitful expenses, such as home improvement and other investments.
To get the most out of a home energy audit, you’ll need to have it performed by a certified energy auditor. If you don’t know how to contact one, you can call your local energy services provider or your state or local government energy office.
You can expect that the energy audit will be as detailed as possible. To help the process flow smoothly, it would be a good idea to observe every room in the house and list down possible areas where you think there could be energy problems. It’s also recommended to jot down a general description of the energy use in the home. Such a description would include the thermostat settings, usage of appliances, or any other way you use energy. Additionally, make sure that the energy auditor will have access to areas where he or she can inspect the home’s insulation. If you prepare those areas beforehand, you won’t be wasting time removing obstacles.
Energy Areas to Test and Evaluate
To give you an idea of the places you’ll need to provide access to, the energy audit will cover any area where air and energy might be escaping through, such as areas that require insulation, your heating and cooling systems, your lighting system, ducts, and all of your doors and windows. Should there be additional areas to check, the energy auditor will let you know.
In fact, when you schedule an energy audit, the auditor will likely provide a list of the things that you need to prepare beforehand. They’ll also set a date for the audit, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re at home during this time.
Post-Audit Home Improvement Projects for Better Energy Efficiency
Once the energy audit has been completed, you’ll be given the results and a list of recommended improvements or upgrades for your home that will reduce the amount of energy loss. Such improvements could include replacing windows, resealing the home, replacing heating and cooling systems, improving insulation, or even replacing certain appliances with ones that require less energy to operate.
Home improvements or upgrades can be costly but don’t worry, you don’t need to do all of them at the same time. The auditor will explain the areas where you’re losing energy the most so you can focus on them first. Whenever you have the funds and opportunity, you can go through the rest of the list of recommended improvements.
Converting your home from an energy-guzzler to an energy-saver can be achieved, but it all begins with an energy audit. With the help of a professional auditor, you’ll get an idea what parts of your home are contributing to your high energy bill, giving you the opportunity to take care of energy guzzlers with recommended solutions. The sooner you schedule a home energy audit then, the sooner you can turn your home more energy efficient and save on your energy bill.
Greg Cowen co-owns West Michigan Glass Block, a home improvement company that has been serving Western Michigan homeowners since 1984. The company specializes in glass block work as well as replacement windows, egress (escape) windows, entry and storm doors, tuck pointing, chimney repair, drainage issues, vinyl siding, and stone work, as well as energy audits. Check out the company blog for updates from Greg!