Updating Your HVAC Unit

Consider Having A Home Energy Efficiency Audit Before You Start Renovating Your House

If you're planning to renovate your home, you may want to start with a home energy efficiency audit. An energy audit lets you know areas of your home that need improvement so you can make your home more energy-efficient as you make home renovations. Here are a few things you'll learn about your home when you have an audit done.

Where Your Home Needs More Insulation

One of the things an energy auditor does is evaluate the insulation in your home. The insulation in your attic may not be thick enough, or it may have air gaps. There might be some walls that have no or little insulation. The inspector can do a visual inspection or use an infrared camera to look for temperature differences in your home that show where you need to add more insulation.

Where You Need To Seal Air Leaks

If you have an older home, it probably has a lot of air leaks. Air leaks work against insulation. They make it harder to keep your home comfortable when it's hot or cold outside, so your HVAC has to work harder. Air leaks can be found with a thermal camera, smoke pen, or by doing a door test.

A thermal camera finds air leaks because the area around the leak has a different temperature than the rest of the house. This can pinpoint areas of your home, such as around windows and doors that you need to seal. A smoke pen emits a smoke-like substance that wafts through the air on currents from an air leak. All you have to do is follow the smoke trail to the air leak.

A door test is a more sophisticated test. For this, the energy inspector opens your front door and hangs a cover over it that has an opening for a fan. When the fan is on, negative pressure is created in your home when all the other doors and windows are closed. The negative pressure pulls in air through leaks so the leaks can be identified and measured.

What Appliances And Lights You Should Change

Part of your home energy efficiency audit may include looking at your energy bills and all the things in your home that use electricity or gas. The auditor might recommend that you replace your HVAC system when you renovate, update appliances to more energy-efficient models, or even switch to different light bulbs. They might give an estimate of how much you could save on your monthly energy bills by investing in new appliances.

A home energy efficiency audit provides you with a lot of information about your house. You'll also receive a list of things you can do as you go about your renovations to make changes that impact energy efficiency. For instance, if you've decided against new windows because the old ones are in fairly good shape, you might change your mind when a thermal scan shows the windows are a significant cause of heat loss from your home.