October is finally here! While most people are thinking about the changing leaves, pumpkin-flavored everything and Halloween costumes; we have our minds on something completely different (but equally as important): energy audits!
This time of year specifically (is it just us, or did summer FLY BY!?), we want to stress the importance of home weatherization. The U.S. Department of Energy is encouraging people to have a home energy audit. There are many positives to conducting this audit in your home: improve your home’s energy, discover any health and safety issues.
Great! So, how does the audit actually work? Here is a quick overview:
The auditor first analyzes last year’s fuel bills to determine the base energy consumption. He/she interviews the homeowner to learn how the home operates (and any already noted problems). An exterior inspection is conducted followed by a health and safety test. Then comes an interior visual inspection including an assessment of the electrical system. The kitchen and bathrooms are especially important as the auditor searches for any electrical hazards and assess the vent fans. A combustion appliance inspection and blower door test (which locates any air leaks by using a special fan to depressurize the house), is the final stage of the process. Once an audit is complete the findings can be analyzed and a home energy report can be created.
A home energy audit can be along and thorough process; covering many areas including your basement and attic. In these two areas, it is important for the auditor to check the insulation and any major air leakages (in the attic, this could be the chimney and HVAC ducts). Wiring and water leakages should be checked for safety as well as fuel leaks from the furnace in your basement. Though these checks may seem tedious, any safety concerns will be discovered.
Rest assured for you (and your family!) the audit can not only keep you safe but put green back in your pocket! The U.S. Department of Energy estimates people can save between five to thirty percent on their future home energy bills. Keep in mind the audit is only the first step to making your home more efficient. It is up to you to make any changes necessary to ensure your home is ready for the change in seasons. So, we encourage you to go grab a pumpkin-flavored latte (we have heard they are quite tasty!), and visit www.energy.gov to learn more information on how to schedule an energy audit at your home.