A home energy audit is a step-by-step walkthrough of your home to determine where you can make adjustments to make it more energy efficient. They are also known as home energy assessments. Though you can hire a professional to perform your home energy audit, you can also do the walkthrough yourself to save money.
Before you do your home energy audit, take the time to learn about all that an audit entails and what you will need to do to ensure that you perform your checks and interpret your results correctly. For help, call Team Electric Plumbing and Air to discuss what you will need to do and which pieces of equipment you will need to complete your home energy audit. After your audit is complete, we can help you make adjustments to your home to make it more energy efficient.
Checking your Electronic Systems
There are two components to the electrical portion of your home audit: your appliances and your lighting system.
Your lighting typically accounts for about 10 percent of your electric bill. To make your lighting system more efficient, switch to fluorescent bulbs and consider making use of dimmers, timers, and energy efficient lamps.
During your check, look at each appliance’s energy consumption. Some display their consumption levels with stickers while others will need to have their electricity consumption levels estimated. You can reduce your appliances’ energy consumption by replacing them with more efficient models or changing how you use them. For example, you might unplug appliances between uses to prevent phantom loads, consumption of energy despite being turned off.
Find Where your Air is Leaking
Air leaks can cause your home to lose a significant amount of energy and keep you shivering. To check your home for air leaks, look for gaps and cracks between your baseboards, walls, floors, and ceiling. Look closely at these and other areas where corners and different materials meet, such as the spaces around windows and plumbing fixtures. Air vents, switch plates, and weather stripping are other areas prone to air leaks. Be sure to look for air leaks outside too, such as in your foundation and siding.
Once you locate air leaks, seal them by plugging or caulking them. Make sure this does not create unventilated spaces, though, which can create unhealthy and even dangerous conditions. Consider installing a ventilation fan to remedy this issue.
Checking your Insulation
With insufficient insulation, your home’s heat can escape through the walls and ceiling. Different areas of the country have different levels of recommended insulation for homes based on their climates. Most of New Jersey is in Zone 4.
In older homes, it is not uncommon to have less insulation than the current recommended level. This is because as energy prices have risen over the decades, so has the recommended amount of insulation for new homes. Check your attic to see if the areas around ducts, pipes, and other features are properly sealed. While you are up there, check to see if there is a vapor barrier beneath the insulation. This will protect your insulation’s effectiveness and prevent structural damage in your ceiling from leaking pipes.
Inspecting your Heating and Cooling Systems
You should be checking your heating and cooling systems each year to ensure that they are running efficiently. If your home has a forced-air furnace, check the filters regularly and replace them as necessary. Check your ducts for dirt streaks, which can indicate air leaks, and if you find them, seal the damaged portions of the ducts. If you have uninsulated ducts, wrap them in insulation.
After your Audit is Complete
Once your audit determines where your home can be made more efficient, it is time to take steps to correct those issues. Contact a specialist who handles the aspect of your home in need of upgrades or repairs to discuss the work you need to have done. In the long run, making repairs and upgrades now will save you money in lower heating, cooling, and electricity costs.
Work with Our Team of New Jersey Energy Technicians
For more help with your energy audit and aid with making your home more energy efficient through upgrades to your plumbing, electric, and HVAC systems, speak with one of the experienced heating, plumbing, air, and electrical technicians at Team Electric Plumbing and Air. Contact us today to set up your consultation, which can be held at your home at your convenience. Energy audits are an effective way to develop a complete understanding of your home’s current energy efficiency and how you can work to improve it, saving you money in the long run while actively fighting climate change and aiding the environment.