Home Efficiency Audit Needed Now More Than Ever
Staying warm this winter is going to be more expensive than ever for most homeowners. Almost half of American households that use natural gas to heat their homes are expected to spend 30% than they did last winter, according to the Winter Fuels Outlook 2021 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Those who use electricity are projected to spend an average of 6% on heat, and the minority of people that use propane and heating oil could see increases in spending up to 54%.
The reason for the increase in the price of heating is primarily inflation. Energy prices have increased by one-third this year, the price of fuel oil is up almost 60% compared with last year, natural gas has risen by about 25%, and electricity approximately 6.5%. This means that however you heat your home, you’ll likely see bigger utility bills this winter.
Besides changing your home’s heating system to something more cost-effective, there are some simpler solutions that will help you save money and make your home more energy-efficient.
What is a Home Efficiency Audit?
The first step to making your home more efficient is to conduct a home efficiency audit. Although you can do a DIY home efficiency audit, it’s better if you leave it to the professionals. A home efficiency audit, also called a home energy audit or home energy assessment, is a process where a trained professional evaluates your home for problem areas in insulation, heating, cooling, and air circulation in your home so that the appropriate measures can be taken to make your home more energy-efficient.
Why Get a Home Efficiency Audit?
A home efficiency audit will help you save money on energy bills in the long run. Whether your home was newly built or has been around for a long time, a home energy audit will identify areas in your home that can be improved to make it more energy-efficient.
For example, an audit may conclude that you need better insulation in your attic, new windows, or that your furnace isn’t working properly. Once the problems are identified, you can correct them and begin saving money on otherwise wasted energy. For instance, a home energy audit may highlight that installing a whole house fan could save you upwards of 90% on your air conditioning bill.
How to Get a Home Efficiency Audit
To get a home energy audit, reach out to your local utility company. They are often sponsored and affordable. However, you’ll want to make sure that they have a full home energy audit, as many times these sponsored energy audits can be limiting, and won’t give you the best picture of your home’s energy efficiency.
At a minimum, your home efficiency assessment should include an evaluation of your HVAC equipment and ductwork system, an insulation assessment, a blower door test, and ventilation adequacy.
For a top-notch home energy audit, you’ll want to make sure that your energy auditor has completed a program of study and is certified as a licensed energy analyst.