Even though it’s warmed up considerably, we’re still receiving two more heating bills. Air conditioning season begins in mid-June and drives up the electric bill. So, recently I wanted some professional affirmation of the best ways to lower bills in both seasons… An energy audit. Felt like my house was having a physical.
The energy expert comes to your home and examines attic and wall insulation, windows, the furnace itself and the whole building ‘envelope.’ In addition to visual inspection, two fun ‘toys’ are involved. First was a “Blower Door test” which actually put a fan/blower in a frame in the doorway to suck the air out your home in order to measure pressure (in pascals) and let you know how ‘tight or leaky’ your home is. The other toy is even cooler, an infrared camera which he points at most of the walls, corners and ceilings so you actually see the temperature in color (red/orange for warm and blue/green for cold). Parts of my walls were as low as 56 degrees even though the thermostat indicated that room temperature was 65. I could certainly improve ‘the envelope’ which would also enable us to keep the air conditioner settings lower in the summer.
In November I had already done the inexpensive stuff. I re-insulated my attic and went on the warpath caulking around windows and doors, replacing door sweeps and other door and window paraphernalia. That dropped my bills by about $75 a month. I’m hoping to bring it down even further, so next year the auditor suggested replacing my ancient (but attractive) windows, making a few attic repairs and fixing one or two ‘envelope areas’ would net me the most heating bill savings. The following year perhaps we’ll be blowing insulation into the walls.Home Energy Diagnostics 973-680-1244 National Energy Audits 1-866-438-3637 CM Burrows, Inc. 1-866-BURROWS (287-7697) Green Living Solutions 201-390-4280 Home Energy Tuneup 201-530-1553 Home Inspection Technologies 609-835-0101