Rising energy usage has forced millions of American homeowners to think seriously about energy efficiency for the first time. Many simply cannot afford the ever-rising cost of keeping their homes comfortable due to inefficiency and waste. A home energy audit can help.
What Is It?
The goal of an energy audit is to identify how and why your abode is losing power. To do so, an experienced professional will test your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for potential problems. He can then recommend cost-cutting solutions.
First and most importantly, it should improve home comfort at a cost that won’t break you. For example, drafty windows and doors can be fixed for a negligible fee. Minor alterations and improvements to major home systems can also often be made for less than expected. The same may even be true of heating and air conditioning repair.
Fixing these deficiencies should also lower your home utility bills. In fact, savings of up to 30 percent annually are possible, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Energy. The largest reductions are invariably experienced during the winter and summer months when energy usage spikes. As a result, heating and air conditioning repair should be completed prior to periods of heavy use.
While not exactly cheap, audits are entirely affordable. Depending on the company, the abode, and the equipment used, the professional service generally costs between $100 and $500. Even at the high end of that range, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $2,200 Americans spend on their utility bills each year.
The professional technician who performs the audit will utilize either visual or diagnostic tools to inspect your abode. As we mentioned earlier, the goal is always to locate areas where the structure is losing power and money. In addition to windows and doors, the auditor will take a look at your insulation and HVAC equipment. He or she will also examine your ductwork for leaks. Why?
It might surprise you to learn that about 20 to 30 percent of the conditioned air that moves through the ducts in the average home is lost due to leaks, cracks, and poorly connected components. If a technician can identify these areas, he can often complete air conditioning repair for pennies on the dollar. In most cases, he will simply seal the ductwork with foil tape.
When to Call in a Pro
Even if your home isn’t a hundred years old, energy loss can develop without warning. Although windows and doors are common culprits, equipment issues often cause sudden spikes. As such, it is important to contact an HVAC expert who knows what to look for when heating or air conditioning repair may be needed. Because these issues will never get better or go away on their own, you should contact an auditor as soon as possible. Procrastination will only cost you money in wasted power and may cause pricier repairs down the road.