Why Should I Get a Home Energy Audit?
For budget-conscious and environmentally friendly Lorton, VA, homeowners, cutting energy usage is a top priority. At HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited, we are committed to helping our friends and neighbors live as comfortably as possible, and that includes helping them make their home more efficient. A professional home energy audit is the first step toward finding ways to maximize energy efficiency and thus lower utility bills.
Preparing for an Audit
The essence of a home energy audit is collecting information, so you can help the auditor by being prepared with pertinent data before the day of the audit itself. Get together at least the last 12 months’ worth of electric bills; in order to lower utility bills, the auditor needs an idea of where your current costs stand. Take note of your average thermostat setting as well, and be prepared to tell the auditor the number of residents in your home.
The Auditing Process
Much of what is involved in a home performance evaluation is a physical check. Your auditor will thoroughly inspect your home for any locations that could be leaking energy, such as doors, windows and poorly insulated walls. In addition to those persistent leaks, we look for behaviors that can lead to energy loss such as leaving doors and windows open throughout the day. Any place where heat is free to enter or leave your home is a potential source of energy loss.
Results of an Audit
Of course, the auditing process would be very little use at all if we simply identified sources of energy loss. Once the inspection is complete, your auditor will recommend changes that can help your home use energy more efficiently and thus bring your utility bills down. Many of these changes require little if any set-up cost; for instance, we often recommend setting the thermostat higher or closing doors and windows to prevent heating or cooling power from leaking out.
Other changes that we often recommend, such as installing and using ceiling fans, are relatively inexpensive. In these cases, our auditors will explain how the new system will help your home use less energy and how to best use it to bring your utility bills down.
In some cases, we recommend substantial changes to your home’s heating and cooling system, such as upgrading to a more efficient air conditioner or improving home insulation. When we recommend replacement, we include a full payback analysis – that is, a look at how long the new system will take to pay for itself. In a medium-sized home, even a modest upgrade can save hundreds of dollars per year, which is often enough to offset the cost of installation within just a few years.
Whether it leads to a small change or a substantial upgrade, going through the auditing process with HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited will certainly help you save money and reduce your environmental impact. Call us today to schedule an appointment.