Posted on: February 21, 2014
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Energy Saving
A home energy audit (also known as a home energy assessment) helps homeowners understand their home’s energy efficiency and how to improve it. It determines where their home is losing energy (and money) and identifies improvements to make the home more energy efficient. A home energy audit checks for leaks, examines insulation, and inspects the furnace and ductwork, in addition to finding hot spots in walls, floors and ceilings.
Home energy audits generally go into great detail assessing a home’s energy use. The technician will perform an examination of each room and past utility bills. Many professional energy audits usually include a blower door test and thermography scan. To prepare for the audit, make a list of any existing problems, like condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms, and have copies or a summary of the energy bills for the past year. The technician will also note the size of the house and its features, like the type of windows and doors, the amount of insulation in the attic and the type of HVAC unit in the home. They may also use equipment to detect sources of energy loss, infrared cameras, furnace efficiency meters, or surface thermometers.
The technician will also have questions about the resident’s habits. Is anyone home during working hours? What is the normal thermostat setting for summer and winter? How many people live in the home? Have any steps been taken to improve the home’s efficiency? These answers may suggest some simple ways to reduce your household’s energy consumption.
All this data is used to provide a home energy rating and show which improvements could be made. The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the standard measurement for a house’s energy efficiency. The HERS score is a relative performance score comparing a home to the average efficiency home. The lower the number – the more energy efficient the home. The Department of Energy estimates that a typical resale home scored about 130 on the HERS Index scale while a new home has a rating of around 100. A home with a HERS Index Score of 70 is 30% more energy efficient than an average new home. If you decide to sell your home a low HERS Index Score can increase the resale price. For every $1 decrease in annual energy costs, the market value of a home may increase by as much as $20. Decreasing your energy costs by $200 per year, the value of your home increases by $4,000. If you buy a home, the HERS rating can help you anticipate the cost of energy bills and efficiency upgrades.
A home energy audit has a wide range of benefits in addition to resale value. By making your home more energy efficient, you may correct issues that make your home uncomfortable and improve an unhealthy environment. Energy audits identify where leakages are taking place and provide cost-effective options. There may also be unknown problems. Improper ventilation and humidity control encourages the growth of mold or mildew or your HVAC unit and ducts may be leaking unhealthy contaminants into your home.
After making some improvements recommended by the energy audit, the home energy audit and the improvements may quickly pay for themselves in energy savings and may even provide long-term savings.
To schedule your own home energy audit, call your certified HVAC technician. Ask about discounts or rebates. Your certified HVAC technician may also have additional suggestions and may have specials on equipment or other services. Many also have service plans, like the Abacus BAM Plan, that can help save you money on service calls and provide annual HVAC and plumbing tune-ups.
Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical is a full service residential contractor that has been serving the greater Houston area for over 50 years. Abacus is a member of the Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce and has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau of Houston. Abacus is licensed and insured and offers 24/7 emergency service. To learn more about Abacus Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, visit www.abacusplumbing.net or call 713-766-3605. License Numbers: ALAN O'NEILL M-20628 | TACLB82488E | TECL 30557
Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical services the greater DFW area including, but not limited to: Houston, Humble, Baytown, Bellaire, Conroe, Katy, Spring, Sugar Land, The Woodlands and more. Check out Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical reviews or see Abacus A+ BBB to confirm Abacus is a company you can trust.