Winter is here and if you didn’t already notice, that means colder nights, snow, ice and whatever else Mother Nature decides to throw at us in a wintry mix. Winter can be harsh for us, but imagine what it is doing to your home. One of the easiest ways to spot a problem brought on by winter is icicles.
Many of the products being labeled as "energy audits" are nothing more than a generalized look at a building or an investigation of a particular system (most often for the purpose of selling a particular product or project). A truly effective energy audit needs to examine not only the major energy end use equipment, but the operations, maintenance, and management processes of the building as well as how all systems in the building function together as one system. It is one of the first actions which must be taken to accomplish an effective energy cost control program. The audit is a detailed examination of how the building uses energy, how much is paid for that energy, and in conclusion, a set of recommendations to reduce the energy costs by both equipment and operational changes.
And Summer is right around the corner. However, winter is inevitably on its way back around. Save energy this Winter by having a home energy assessment performed on your home now! We understand Summer is time for vacation, but don't worry, there are substantial rebates in place for energy assessments and energy upgrade installations. PPL offers up to $250 for your initial assessment and $0.30 per sqft of installed insulation in homes with electric heat and/or air conditioning, plus many lighting and equipment rebates. For our First Energy customers, there's a $150 rebate for your initial assessment, up to $900 for installed energy-saving measures, and a $150 test-out rebate, plus many appliance and equipment rebates.
Also, save energy on cooling your home. Air-source heat pumps are a phenomenal way to heat and cool your home. By extracting heat energy from outside air to provide hot water or household heating, air-source heat pumps can reach efficiencies of over 200%. This can be done in either direction, to cool or heat the interior of a building. When temperatures outside fall below freezing, the heat pump will automatically switch to electric resistance heat to compensate. Also available are hybrid water heaters with integrated air-source heat pumps and hot water retro-fit units that will mount directly to your existing hot water heater and work on the same principles.Don't hesitate!
Get your home energy assessment now, and never worry about high energy bills and cold drafts again!
What's the difference between the so-called clipboard audits and the ones we do? Let's explore it a little bit.
In order to effectively improve the of a home, an assessment must be made to determine just how inefficient the home is. This assessment is known as a home energy audit.
A clipboard audit is a simple one-page assessment of well-known causes for energy loss, such as lack of insulation, obviously leaky window/door frames, and poor usage habits. Typically, they do not include a blower-door test, and may even be as simple as a visual inspection of your home. While this type of audit tends to be cheaper, it is a much less effective way of determining the energy efficiency of your home, and a full home energy audit will pay back greater in the end.
We do not do not do clipboard audits. We perform a whole house assessment treating the building as one large mechanical system, each component of the home looked at as interacting and codependent.
First, we review your energy bills. This helps us get an idea of where you're losing energy and why. Next, we measure your home to assess its general area and volume, followed by a blower-door test. This test tells us how much air is being allowed to travel through your home via various penetrations in the building shell (ie: plumbing/electrical penetrations, duct chases, light fixtures, etc.). During this test, we will conduct a series of inspections, including, but not limited to, infrared scans, insulation inspections, and attic inspections. We also perform a of all combustion appliances present (ie: boilers, furnaces, gas ovens/ranges, etc.) to determine their efficiency and ensure that they are all firing and venting properly. This includes, but is not limited to, carbon monoxide testing, combustion draft testing, combustion efficiency testing, flue pipe exhaust inspection, duct air flow testing, duct leakage testing, visual inspections of the condition of the equipment, exhaust fan inspection, clothing inspection, and a well pump analysis.
Back at our office, we use the information garnered from these tests to draw up a Rating Report. This report tells you, the customer, how efficient your home is, what work we propose to perform to improve your home's efficiency, and how efficient your home will be upon completion. Also included in this report are drawings of your home, defining its dimensions and thermal boundary. This extensive audit is much more accurate than a clipboard audit, providing greater potential for savings.