What Does an Energy Audit Entail?

Energy Audit First Choice Inspectors regularly perform energy audits in and around Chicago. An energy audit involves professionals doing a comprehensive examination of a home or building’s thermal performance. In other words, where are the leaks?

Heating and cooling a building costs money, and when there are leaks, the heat or cool air you’re paying for might literally be going right out the leaky window. An energy audit involves checking around windows, skylights, and doors to measure the leakage rate of air to see how well seals are performing– or aren’t. In addition, walls and ceilings and floors are checked for leaks as well. Most people choose to have energy audits done in order to save money on their heating and cooling bills. Leaks can be stopped and therefore energy is no longer wasted.

First Choice Inspectors can provide a written report with photos to show a home or building owner exactly where leaks occur. Thermal imaging overlays can be included when necessary in order to estimate energy use given local climate criteria, thermostat settings, roof overhang and other factors. A home or building owner can get a good idea of how making certain changes could effectively save them money over time.

Specifically, First Choice Inspectors use sophisticated methods such as thermal imaging scanning and videoscopic borescopes to find problem areas.

Common problems an energy audit can find include leaks in the air conditioning duct system, worn-out insulation, and windows/doors in need of sealing and caulking.

Besides talking with home or building owners about their energy bills and energy habits that may be raising their bills, an energy audit from First Choice Inspectors can also include a list of repairs to be done to improve the home’s thermal performance, therefore lowering overall energy bills– oftentimes up to 30%.

Home-building Industry poised for Green Future

Mike Holmes from Leader-Post speaks about the current trend is definitely moving towards green products and options. The green movement is still so new that it is hard to know which regulations and certifications are the legitimate ones.  This is still so new that the one green move that is full proof is the switch to energy efficiency and durability.  Building an energy-efficient home is becoming the standard for homeowners.  “It’s a way of thinking that says it’s better to invest in more insulation than a granite countertop. It’s cool to have solar panels, energy-efficient appliances and a green roof. These features are becoming the new eye candy of the modern and contemporary home.”  Since energy costs are rising we, as homebuyers and homebuilders, must begin to turn to energy-efficient elements.  As we move forward we will begin to see more homeowners choosing renovations that will bring their homes to higher performance levels.  There are a few options that don’t require too much restructuring:

  1. Increase and/or replace old insulation in the attic.
  2. Always purchase energy star appliances.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat that can regulate the temperature of your home between day and night.
  4. Replace old toilets with ones that are low-flow to save 30 to 50 per cent of the water normally used.
  5. Install a domestic hot-water recovery system that can recapture heat gathered from hot water used during dishes, showers, etc.

 

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