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When Should I Get a Home Energy Audit?

Posted by Jordan on Jan 8, 2015 1:47:30 PM

Why Winter is the Best Time for a Home Energy Assessment

If you’ve ever wondered how energy efficient your home is, a home energy audit will help get you some answers and
Home energy audit probably save you money in the long run. It can be done any time of year, but the winter is the best time for a home energy assessment, because your audit can include a thermographic scan.

When done by a professional, the home energy audit, or energy assessment, will:

  • Show you the problem areas of your home when it comes to energy loss.
  • Give you techniques and improvements you can make to lower your home’s energy use.
  • Teach you how much money you can save when you use less energy.

Why Winter?

A thermographic inspection works by using infrared cameras or video – tools that can see light that is in the heat spectrum.

According to the Department of Energy, thermography requires “images on the video or film to record the temperature variations of the building's skin, ranging from white for warm regions to black for cooler areas.” This means if the tool shows white, red and orange colored areas on your house, that’s where the most heat loss is occurring. 

According to Keith Hill, manager, technical support, at Minnesota Air, thermography works best with a large temperature difference. “Cold weather allows the auditor a more precise view of the heat escaping your home or of the cold air sneaking in,” said Hill. “And since many people put off energy audits until warmer weather, it’s easier to schedule in the winter months.”

If you schedule a professional home energy audit it can be as simple as a walk through or as in-depth as using thermographic tools, blower doors, and HVAC equipment reports and cost assessments. The Department of Energy’s website can help you find a professional home energy auditor near you, and help you prepare for the assessment.

Do It Yourself

Hiring a professional who knows exactly what to look for during an energy assessment is the best way to see where your home is losing energy, but you can do an energy audit by yourself any time of the year. suggests that if you decide on a do-it-yourself home energy audit, look at several key areas to save your home energy and yourself some money. They include:

  • Locating air leaks and sealing them.
  • Checking insulation in the attic, ceiling and walls.
  • Getting your heating and cooling system inspected or consider replacing it. 
  • Switching out old light bulbs with compact fluorescent, LED bulbs or energy-saving incandescent bulbs.
  • Examining your appliances and electronics to make sure they are unplugged and turned off when not in use. You can also see if there is a more energy efficient setting or even if you can upgrade to a ENERGY STAR model.

The key to home energy audits is to simply get them done. Be diligent about making sure your home’s components are running efficiently and you will notice a difference on your winter energy bill.


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