According to the Georgia Power Company, home energy audits can help lower your annual energy bill by 30 percent. In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that just sealing and insulating your house's "shell" can result in a 20 percent reduction in heating and cooling costs. Home energy audits are invaluable for identifying and correcting sources of energy loss, which saves you money, reduces your environmental footprint, and increases your comfort level.
Why should I get an energy audit?
A home energy audit will help you learn how to reduce your energy use. This involves discovering sources of energy loss, and also identifying behaviors and habits that may be sabotaging your efficiency efforts.
It will also help you
- decide if your appliances are functioning correctly or may have reached the end of their useful lifespan,
- help you determine if and why the heating and cooling is uneven in some areas of the home, and
- uncover any problems with mold, mildew, or air quality.
For a simple audit, the EPA has an online Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick that allows you to enter detailed information about your house, such as square footage, zip code, age, and number of residents. Using your past 12 months of utility bills, you can compare your efficiency rates to those of similar homes. The site also provides you with tips for making your home more energy-efficient.
For a more in-depth energy audit, some Atlanta area HVAC professionals offer free or discounted home inspections. Using an assortment of equipment, these examinations are designed to detect air leaks and moisture issues, in addition to ductwork and ventilation problems. Specifically, auditors may check to be sure that your HVAC is working efficiently, your doors and windows are properly sealed and your insulation is sufficient. In addition, electricity and fossil fuel use may also be measured and your appliances may be evaluated to see if they are operating economically and safely.
After the audit, you will be presented with an analysis that includes any areas in need of repair or replacement, and recommendations for improving energy efficiency. Following these tips will help you increase your home's comfort level, reduce your environmental footprint, and help you keep more money in your pocket.