During a comprehensive energy audit of a home, there are two observations the homeowner will often make by the end of the evaluation. First, they are surprised at how much equipment is used during the inspection. There are numerous instruments at the energy auditor’s disposal such as the infrared camera, the blower door, combustion analyzers, pressure pans, exhaust fan flow meters, smoke pencils, and so on. Second, they are surprised at the thoroughness of the energy audit. And, it should be thorough!
To serve the homeowner well, the energy auditor has to understand how making a change to one system in the home will impact the other systems. For example, let’s say that we perform a blower door test on a home to determine that the building is very leaky. This means that sealing up all of the penetrations in the attic and exterior walls will help the home become more efficient by keeping all of the heated or cooled air inside the home instead of losing it outdoors. However, if problems with indoor air quality such as carbon monoxide, a gas leak, or mold are not addressed, then these contaminants can become more concentrated in the tighter home and can negatively impact the health of the homeowners.
When you look at the house as a collection of systems working together to provide comfort, efficiency, and health, then it is easy to see how an energy audit goes beyond making a home energy efficient. A better name for an energy audit would be a home performance audit. The professional energy auditor is going to use all of those tools to measure and diagnose the home for optimum performance in such categories as heating, cooling, air flow, insulation, ventilation, and water diversion.
Here are 10 signs that your home could benefit from an energy audit:
- Certain rooms or areas of the home are always cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The solution may lie in the insulation of the home, the air flow from the furnace, or a combination of both. Let the energy audit help you determine the cost effective solutions for this common complaint.
- High utility bills. Energy efficiency solutions can be found in a variety of areas like insulation, HVAC, lighting, and appliances.
- The furnace always seems to be running. Does the problem exist within the furnace or with thedesign of the house?
- Use of space heaters. If you find yourself needing to use space heaters – especially in bedrooms, then you need an energy audit to help solve the problem.
- Condensation on walls or windows. Is there a water leak? Is the home too humid? Is there proper ventilation installed?
- Mold has appeared in areas that aren’t from an apparent water leak. Where is the source of the moisture, and what can we do to prevent the mold from reappearing after it is mitigated?
- The dehumidifier never turns off. Water and moisture controls are a critical component in home performance and must be carefully managed to prevent health problems and/or durability issues with the home.
- There is a lot of static electricity in the winter. If the indoor air is dry enough, static electricity will result and may indicate a drafty house.
- The carbon monoxide detector seems to go off for no reason. This can be a serious problem if not addressed. Is the CO coming from the water heater, the furnace, the oven, or from an attached garage?
- There are strange smells in the house. The smell of rotten eggs can indicate a gas leak and all of the gas lines should be checked. If you detect the small of the attic, garage, or fireplace in the house, there could be problems with building pressure imbalances or infiltration from air leakage.
If any of these are happening in your home, you should call us to schedule an energy audit. We serve central Illinois communities within a 60 mile radius of Peoria. Let’s get your home optimized for comfort, efficiency, and safety. Let’s get your home FEELING like a home.