Basic home energy audits in the state of Colorado are typically designed for people living in single-family homes. Generally, an audit will take about two hours and can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for the homeowner. Ultimately, the home energy audit lets homeowners know more about their energy consumption and how to save energy in the future. Before you have an energy audit of your home, there are some steps you can take to prepare for it.
Take an Online Assessment
Taking an online assessment is a good place to start if you are considering an energy audit and not sure where to start or what to do. The online assessment will help you to determine exactly what parts of your home are problematic. An assessment can be accessed at the Colorado Springs Utilities website. This assessment will take you through a quick assessment that will assist you in determining the energy use in your home.
Finding an Energy Auditor
Once you decide to have an energy audit, it is essential that you find a qualified individual to do the assessment. Don’t forget, you have invested a lot of money into your home and you only want the best for it. Check with your local government or weatherization office. They may have some good recommendations of qualified services. Other resources to check out are your utility companies. They generally are happy to assist customers in becoming more energy-efficient. Further, they may be able to do the energy assessment for you. You can also do a basic online search to read reviews or ask your neighbors. Regardless of what resource you use to find an energy auditor it is important that you do some research before you make a final decision. Get references from other people who have used the auditor and contact the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged against the company.
Basic Things To Do Ahead of Time
Before your energy audit, it is important to do a few things beforehand. A homeowner should make a list of any and all problems you are experiencing with your home. Also, make sure you have copies of your energy bills (both electric and gas) for the past two years handy. This information will assist the auditor make a complete assessment. Make sure you have ceased lighting wood-burning fires for at least 24 hours before prior to the audit. The fireplace should also be cleaned and free of ashes. All exterior windows and doors should be shut and latched. Take a look through the home and make sure all rooms are accessible, including the basement and attic. It is also important that the furnace, air conditioning unit, heater and boiler are accessible as well.
Be Prepared to Answer Questions
During an energy audit, the auditor will be asking questions that will need to be answered. Be prepared to talk about how many people live in the home and the times during the day people are in the dwelling, and how each room is used. The auditor will also want to know what temperature the thermostat is set to during both the summer and winter months.
What to Expect from an Energy Audit
You can expect the audit to take at least an hour and possibly as many as three hours. During that time, you can anticipate that the auditor will assess every part of your home. The auditor will check for simple things such as the comfort level of the home. The auditor will also check for more complicated issues such as carbon monoxide levels, indoor air quality problems, and the efficiency levels of the heating system, cooling system, and hot water system. The audit will be competed by a certified individual who will identify potential hazards in the home.
Blower Door Test
This is one of the standard tests of an energy audit. Its purpose is to determine if your home is airtight. In this test a large fan pulls air out of the house and lowers the air pressure inside. The test determines the air infiltration rate of the home.
This test uses infrared video and still cameras to determine surface temperatures. This procedure tests the effectiveness of the insulation in the home.
After the Energy Audit
Once the energy audit is complete, the homeowner will receive a comprehensive report on the energy efficiency of the home. The report will detail any deficiencies that were identified along with recommendations for improvements.
Review the report carefully and contact the auditor if you have any questions. The report will offer actionable recommendations. Talk to everyone in the house about ways to save energy, go green and reduce your monthly utility bills. Having an energy audit is a solid investment that helps you save money in the years to come.
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