Add an Energy Audit to Your To-Do List to Ensure Maximize Home Efficiency
Homeowners who have energy audits performed know exactly where to improve their homes to save energy year-round. These audits offer a precise way of detecting air leaks and thermal losses that increase the need for cooling and heating. They’re performed by licensed auditors or HVAC professionals and provide the starting point for improving energy efficiency.
What’s in an Energy Audit
The centerpiece of the audit is the calibrated blower door test that tests air leakage rates throughout your home’s envelope. Leaks are common around exterior door frames, windows, the attic and the foundation. The blower door measures how much air leaks into your home and where. It sits in an exterior door frame and once your home is ready, the auditors turn the fan inside the blower door on and measure how fast and far the air pressure drops indoors.
If your home is tight, it will maintain pressure. If it has a lot of air leaks, it will lose pressure quickly, since the fan will pull air through all its cracks and openings. In order to identify where the leaks occur, the auditors then use thermographic devices that record the contrasting temperatures between the temperature inside your home and the incoming air.
Once you know where the air leaks are, they’re easy to seal with caulk, weatherstripping or expanding foam. The audit may include testing the air ducts for leakage, since leaky ductwork reduces home energy efficiency and should be sealed with mastic or metal tape for the best durability.
During energy audits, the team will also check the thermal losses throughout your home. The primary places include windows and the roof. Inefficient windows let heat pass through the glass that could add a significant load to your home’s need for conditioning. Inadequate attic insulation lets heat seep into your home during the summer and out in the winter. Upgrading windows, adding window coverings and improving insulation will cut energy bills year-round.
To learn more about the benefits of energy audits, contact Air Experts. We’ve provided exceptional HVAC services for the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas since 1986.