5 Tips for Evaluating a Home’s Energy Performance

Energy costs are creeping up more and more each day. Unfortunately, homeowners rely on energy to power their home and keep appliances running. If you are concerned that you are wasting energy and money, you may want to check on your home’s energy performance to see where energy is being wasted or underutilized. Here are 5 tips for evaluating a home’s energy performance.

  1. Use a tool like the Home Energy Yardstick from Energy Star. This quick quiz assesses the square footage of your home, how many people live there, your location, different fuels you use such as gas, electricity or oil, as well as your energy bills for the last year. It takes all of this general information to give you an estimate of your home’s efficiency.
  2. Hire an assessor to do a comprehensive home audit. This is much more detail than any online survey since the person can actually see your home physically and inspect its quality to determine energy efficiency. This individual will check your furnace, HVAC and to water heater to make sure they are working properly and providing you with the best efficiency possible. In addition this person will check to see that you home is well insulated, that all windows and doors are sealed tight and more!
  3. You can also take precautions to improve your home’s energy performance. If you aren’t changing filters and cleaning them regularly, you are likely wasting energy. When a furnace filter or air duct filter is blocked or dirty, comfortable warm or cool air cannot pass through to reach the rest of your home. Therefore your systems have to use extra energy to reach the temperature you set on the thermostat. Changing filters every 6 months of so can help you to ensure that you are not reducing your home’s energy performance in that area. You may also want to find out when the ducts were installed to decideĀ when to consider duct replacement if necessary.
  4. Find out about your appliances. If you just have normal appliances, you are likely wasting energy. Check to see if your appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines are Energy Star approved. Only these Energy Star Approved products are known and certified to use energy in the most efficient and effective manner throughout your home. While these appliances will cost you most up front, your energy savings over the long term will more than make up for that higher initial investment.
  5. Hire a repairman to make sure that all of your equipment is properly installed. Sometimes, if a comer owner or a past tech installed something incorrectly, you may not notice for year! Incorrect installation can negatively impact the longevity and the quality of your appliances especially if left unfixed for a long period of time.

These tips will help you to evaluate your home’s energy performance so that you can determine where energy is being waste and where it is being used efficiently. Be sure to do an Energy Star test, hire an inspector to assess, check filters, use Energy star approved appliances, and hire a repair person to check that all equipment is properly and correctly installed in your home.

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  4. 5 Ways to Make Your Old Furnace More Efficient
  5. 5 Easy Things You Can Do to Prevent High Home Energy Bills in Winter