Home Energy Audit: The Most Important Step for Improving Your Home’s Energy-Efficiency

North Americans are now looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency, as they face rising energy costs and increased concerns about climate changes. This is especially true if you live in a house built before the 1980s. The building codes started to reflect more energy-efficiency standards. A certified energy advisor can perform a home audit to determine the most cost-effective ways to improve your home. You can get the best guide on PorchLight HES.

You can make immediate savings by turning down your thermostat or installing compact fluorescent light bulbs.
For deep energy savings to be realized, major retrofit work might be necessary. You can achieve dramatic energy savings by adding insulation to your attic, walls or basements, replacing windows, drafting, or upgrading to high-efficiency heating system.

Many homeowners are unaware that major retrofits can have negative consequences for other areas of the home. The appearance of condensation may occur when an interior window is opened by upgrading from a low to medium-efficiency furnace. This is because high efficiency furnaces don’t need chimneys. This decreases the house’s ventilation. This causes warm, moist, humid air to condense on the windows and becomes trapped.

A furnace replacement can also be difficult if the house is older. Furnaces should be properly sized for the specific heating requirements of each house. If a large house is drafty or poorly insulated, it will require a larger furnace system than if it was upgraded to modern standards. A furnace contractor will usually calculate the furnace’s size by performing a heat loss calculation. The furnace could be too large to heat the house if the furnace is sized incorrectly.

One rule of thumb: Reduce the amount of heat in the house by installing insulation, sealing up drafts, upgrading windows and other improvements before replacing the heating system.

How do you know how much insulation is needed?

A certified energy advisor can perform a home energy audit or assessment. This is the best way to get started. A professional home energy assessment will give you an objective and thorough review of your home’s energy usage. It often involves:

A complete evaluation of the site from the attic down to the foundation in order to collect energy consumption data
A blower door testing is performed to determine and measure air leakage.
A detailed report that will explain where your energy dollars have been spent and where energy has been wasted. It also includes suggestions on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

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