Did you know a home energy audit can save you money?
Our professional technicians perform customized home energy audits to assess your home’s energy efficiency. These inspections are highly detailed and conducted room-by-room to pinpoint where energy is being wasted. A home energy audit includes the following:
- Ductwork is thoroughly examined for any leaks.
- The attic and crawlspace(s) are checked for any exterior air leaks.
- Insulation is evaluated – which is important since most homes are not adequately insulated, causing HVAC systems to run constantly in an attempt to regulate temperature.
- The furnace and blower are evaluated to ensure air is circulating equally through all vents.
- Amperage is measured in heating and air conditioning systems to make sure they’re functioning at full capacity.
Many other factors are examined and measured during a home energy audit. A thorough home energy audit typically takes a full day to complete. Afterwards, you will be given a comprehensive home energy report, and your home energy auditor will discuss the findings with you. A home energy audit can help you save significant amounts of energy and money, while reducing your home’s environmental impact.
Benefits of Home Energy Audits
Your house uses energy around the clock, whether it is for the heating system, television or refrigerator. There is nothing you can do to completely stop your home from consuming energy, but you can take steps to reduce the amount of energy used. Home energy audits are a fundamental step in understanding how your home consumes energy and make it more efficient.
During an energy audit, a certified professional comes to your home and conducts a series of tests to diagnose problem areas. Upon review, he or she will recommend steps you can take to lower your energy consumption. This translates into benefits such as:
- Saving your money. The most noticeable benefit can be enjoyed every month when you look at your energy bill. Significantly cutting the amount of energy you consume will lower your bills by a substantial amount.
- Saving the environment. Along with lower bills, you are doing your part to make a positive impact on the environment. Consuming less energy will result in reduced emissions of greenhouse gasses and other harmful particles into the atmosphere.
- Enhancing your comfort. Energy audits allow you to lower your energy consumption without sacrificing the comfort of your family. Turning down your thermostat five degrees is an obvious way to save money, but that’s not what energy audits are about. On the other hand, if your audit professional finds and seals air leaks, your heating system won’t have to work as hard to deliver a consistent temperature throughout your home.
- Reducing health risks. Home energy audits can also detect potential health and safety risks around the house, especially when it comes to your indoor air quality. In many cases, high levels of toxic gasses such as radon and carbon monoxide have unknowingly been present in residential homes.
- Increasing your home’s value. Many of the recommendations that come as a result of the energy audit will pay for themselves relatively quickly. In addition to the monthly savings they provide, most of the improvements will also increase the resale value of your home.
Questions to Ask about your Home’s Energy Audit
If you haven’t had your home’s energy consumption tested via a home energy audit, you may want to consider it. A home energy audit can save you a significant amount of money on your monthly bills, improve comfort, positively impact the environment, and increase your home’s resale value. Before contracting an energy auditor, ask them the following questions:
What certifications do you have?
Different states and cities have different licensing and certification regulations for home energy auditors. Even if you live in an area where no licenses are legally needed, there are independent certification programs, such as the Building Performance Institute’s certification program, that auditors can complete to demonstrate their competence and ability level.
What specific tests will be performed?
If you are comparing different energy auditors, asking them this question will give you a good sense of the thoroughness of their work. For instance, a company that utilizes blower door tests, infrared cameras, ductwork inspections, and PFT air infiltration techniques is probably a better choice than a competitor who only provides one or two of these services.
Do you have any sample energy audit reports?
Like the previous question, this can help filter out low-quality companies when comparing multiple competitors. Home energy audits are essentially an investment, and they can offer a great return if they provide accurate and detailed information, along with logical recommendations. Browse through the sample reports and eliminate companies that show signs of sloppy work.
Am I eligible for any rebates?
Federal, state, and local governments all play a part in the nationwide energy initiative. Because of this, you could be eligible for rebates after implementing the auditor’s recommendations to your home. Most of the time, these rebates are given as cash reimbursements for equipment and installation fees. Your energy auditor should be familiar with rebates in your area, so ask him or her this question and see if you can save yourself some money!
How to Find & Seal Air Leaks
If you are preparing your home for winter, one thing you will want to do is seal off any air leaks in your home. Drafty areas affect more than just your comfort; they affect your wallet too. Your money could be going out of the window, figuratively and literally, if heated air is escaping from your house. This basic guide from the experts at Assured Comfort will discuss how to quickly find and seal air leaks in your home.
Finding Air Leaks
There can be air leaks both inside and outside your house. They are most commonly found where two surfaces come together. Some places you may find air leaks are:
- Outside corners of your house.
- Where your chimney meets your house’s siding.
- The top of your foundation/bottom of your house.
- Door and window frames.
- Electrical outlets.
- Attic hatches.
Many air leaks can be found using nothing but a simple eye test. Carefully inspect the mentioned areas for any cracks or gaps, as they’re likely to be causing drafts. If you dampen your hand and place it near a potential leak, you will feel it. You can also shut your home’s windows, light an incense stick and move it along these problem areas. If the smoke appears to be blowing away, there is most likely a leak.
Sealing Air Leaks
Once you’ve detected air leaks in your home, you can easily seal them off using caulk. Caulk can form a flexible seal for gaps and cracks up to ¼” wide. It can come many forms, including cartridges, squeeze tubes and aerosol cans. Before you patch a leak using caulk, thoroughly clean the area to allow for optimal adhesion. Hold your caulking gun at a consistent angle and move at a continuous speed for best results.
Weatherstripping is the best sealing option for windows and doors, which move. When choosing a weatherstrip you should take into account durability, price, and what you are sealing. For more on choosing the right weatherstrip, visit Energy.gov. Before applying the weatherstrip, measure twice before you cut it and make sure all areas are clean. Apply the strip against both surfaces, making sure it fits snugly in the corner.
HVAC Home Zoning
For an energy-efficient solution to control the temperature of individual rooms in your home, consider HVAC home zoning from Assured Comfort. We’ll provide your family with the means for individual family members to choose their preferred temperatures in any room, while increasing your energy efficiency and potential utility savings.
How Home Zoning Works
HVAC home zoning divides your home into sectors, so that particular areas or rooms can be temperature-controlled independently. Zoning is perfect for multi-level homes. Too often, the upper levels are consistently hotter than lower levels, making whole-house indoor comfort difficult to achieve.
In a home zoning system, you have a single HVAC system with multiple thermostats to control the temperature in different areas of your home separately. Each sector in your home has its own thermostat, all of which are connected to the same control panel. For example, the temperatures in the living areas may be set lower for comfort, while airflow to the bedrooms is turned off because they’re unoccupied. These thermostats constantly monitor the temperature in their respective zones and adjust the dampers within your ductwork to heat or cool the room according to your set preference.
When setting up home zoning systems, our technicians go through all the ductwork in your home, installing dampers for adjustable airflow to each floor. This allows the temperature to be maintained throughout the house, or at different temperatures on different levels. Zoning systems are perfect for homes with large basements or attics, allowing homeowners the flexibility to separately control temperatures in different areas based on preference or to maximize energy efficiency.
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re continually looking for ways to reduce your energy costs while still maintaining your family’s comfort. This is just one reason why so many people are switching to zoned heating and cooling systems.
Angie’s List makes a great comparison in their article about home HVAC zoning. Imagine your home’s lights worked like its HVAC system. You would be able to turn them on or off, but only every single light at once. That means when you’re in the living room, the lights in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and dining room would continue to operate. This is essentially how an un-zoned HVAC system works. It is an extremely inefficient way to operate.
There are many advantages to having a multi-zone heating and cooling system installed in your house. These include:
- Energy savings. HVAC zoning can quickly pay for itself with the energy savings it provides, since your HVAC system is only providing heat to the areas that need it, instead of blanketing your entire home. You can save up to 30 percent on your energy bill each month with HVAC zoning.
- Improved comfort. Make hot and cold spots in your home a thing of the past with HVAC zoning. Without zoning, rooms on the second or third floor can become uncomfortably hot due to heat rising, while the basement remains freezing cold. With a home zoning system, every area of your home will be the precise temperature you desire. Depending on how your home is split, the system allows more family members to enjoy their preferred temperature indoors.
- Reduced wear and tear. Your heating system will no longer be circulating air through your home nonstop. Since it uses less effort to control your home’s temperature, your HVAC system will operate for longer and need less repairs – an additional way zoning can save you money.
Contact us for information about HVAC zoning in your home! If you are considering HVAC zoning in your Georgia home, call Assured Comfort at (770) 676-1110. Our HVAC experts will assess your home, determine the optimal number of zones, and provide a quality, professional installation. Let our experienced technicians sit down with you to explain the costs and benefits of a home zoning installation. Schedule your obligation-free estimate today by using our online service scheduling tool or calling (770) 676-1110.