Welcome to ABC's new series of tips to help you save energy and money. To get started with the series we'll be talking about energy audits.
What is an Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a series of tests designed to help to identify where your home is leaking energy and how well your heating & cooling system are working. When performing an energy audit our heating experts will ask you some comfort questions about your home, perform a heat loss calculation, inspect and measure the homes duct work system. By performing an accurate energy audit, we can help determine the right heating and cooling equipment for your home, how to maximize your homes energy efficiency and help even out the temperatures in your home.
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), energy star, and consumer reports, a good heating and air contractor should perform these tests on your home before replacing your heating and cooling system. In fact, the EPA notes “be leery” of any contract not willing to perform an accurate heat loss calculation on your home.
How do I get an energy audit for my home and what does it cost?
There are companies in the Chicago Illinois area that you can hire to perform an energy audit. The cost of an energy audit will depend on the company but we include them as complementary service when you request a quote to replace your heating and cooling equipment.
Can I do an energy audit myself?
Some Chicago are homeowners choose to do their own home energy audit. From our experience it is very difficult to perform these tests on your own. The software to perform an accurate test can be very expensive and tools aren’t readily available. However, there are free basic versions available that can be used to double check your contractors work.
For information on do-it-yourself home energy audits, visit the The Home Energy Saver. The Home Energy Saver will help you compute your home's energy use with online based on methods developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. By changing features on a model home, users can estimate how much energy and money can be saved and how much pollution prevented by implementing energy-efficiency improvements. All end uses (home heating, cooling, major appliances, lighting, and miscellaneous uses) are included. A detailed description of underlaying calculation methodsand data is provided in a special report.
I've had an Energy Audit, what's next?
Once you know where your home is losing energy there are many techniques you can use to prevent energy loss and save money. The rest of our Energy Savers Series will be a collection of tips and techniques that expert energy auditors use to help homeowners save energy and money.
Next up, saving energy with Programmable Thermostats