Looking to cut energy costs? Maybe it’s time for an energy audit. Home energy audits assess where your house might be losing energy and provide recommendations on how to make it more energy efficient. Energy auditors inspect areas in your home to determine if heat is being lost through insufficient insulation, air leaks and inefficient heating and cooling systems.
Insufficient insulation in the ceiling and walls can create a large amount of heat loss. Over the years, the level of recommended insulation has changed, so your current insulation might be inadequate if you have an older home. An energy auditor will measure the depth and type of insulation you have in your attic as well as how well it covers the attic floor. They will also try to determine wall insulation levels.
INSULATION: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing air leaks can improve energy efficiency by 5 to 30 percent per year. Energy auditors locate sources of air infiltration, especially around doors and windows.
AIR LEAKS: Heating and cooling equipment manufacturers usually recommend that their equipment be inspected annually to maintain its efficiency. Energy auditors will examine furnaces and air conditioner to ensure that they are well maintained and in good condition.
HEATING AND COOLING EQUIPMENT: You can conduct a simple version of a home energy audit yourself or contact professional energy auditor for a more thorough inspection. Contact your local utility company if you need help finding a professional energy auditor. Conducting a home energy audit every couple of years can help cut your energy costs.
On Long Island you can find out more about Energy Audits and find affiliated contractors at The Oil Heat Institute of LI at http://www.ohili.org and the LIPA web site at http://www.lipower.org. LIPA also has a free program called REAP to help manage electric usage for income-eligible homeowners.