Home Energy Audit – The Most Important Step to Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

North Americans are becoming more concerned about the impact of climate change and rising energy prices. This is especially true for homeowners who lived in houses built before the 1980s. Building codes have since been updated to include higher energy-efficiency standards. It is important to have a home energy audit done by a certified energy consultant in order to make the most efficient improvements. See PorchLight Home Energy Assessors to get more info.

To save immediate money, homeowners can take a few simple, low-cost, or even free, measures like turning down the thermostat and installing compact fluorescent lighting.
Some major retrofits may be required to achieve significant energy savings. Energy savings can be dramatic by improving insulation levels in the attic, basement and walls, as well as replacing windows or draft-proofing.

Homeowners often don’t realize that major retrofits can cause damage to other parts of the house. A major retrofit can cause condensation to form in interior windows, for example when you upgrade from a low-efficiency furnace system to one that is high-efficiency. High-efficiency furnaces are not required to have chimneys. This reduces the house’s ventilation. Warm, moist air condenses onto cold window panes, trapping it inside.

It may be difficult to replace a furnace if your house is older. Properly sized furnaces today should be able to provide the heat required by the house. A larger furnace system will be required for large, poorly insulated houses than one that meets modern standards. A furnace contractor will typically determine the furnace size through a heat-loss calculation. If a furnace is designed for a poorly insulated home and then the insulation levels are increased, it could cause the furnace to be too big for the house’s heating needs.

The best rule of thumb is to lower your house’s heating needs – improve insulation, seal drafts, and upgrade windows – before replacing your heating system.

But how do you determine the amount of insulation required? Or how can you locate the source for drafts?

An energy advisor certified in home audits or assessments is the best place for you to start. A professional home assessment provides an objective, detailed analysis of your home’s energy use. It involves:

To collect energy usage data, a complete on-site assessment was done from the attic up to the foundation
To scientifically measure the amount of air leakage, you can use a blower door test.
You will receive a detailed report outlining where your energy dollars are being used, where it is being wasted, as well as what you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

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