A home energy audit can help you understand the entire picture of your home’s energy use — from how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy, to which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable.
Union Power offers free in-home energy audits and other resources to help members pinpoint issues and develop solutions to make energy-saving home improvements. Here’s what an energy audit might look like in your home:
- A Union Power energy specialist will begin by reviewing your account history with you to determine if there are any significant changes in month to month or year to year consumption results.
- Next, the specialist will take a look at your home from the inside and outside. They’ll examine a variety of components, including windows, walls, and eaves, to see if they can spot any major issues causing leaks into or out of your home.
- The specialist will check out the attic (if you have one) to take a look at a few things. Most importantly, they will inspect your insulation to make sure it’s correctly installed and applied evenly. They’ll also evaluate the holes where electrical lines run to see if they’re properly sealed, or could be a source of leakage.
- The specialist will examine your HVAC system and water heater. If either is on the older end, it is likely a candidate for an upgrade. They’ll also likely take a look at the filter(s) in the HVAC system to ensure that it doesn’t require replacement. They’ll check connections in the ducts in your basement, attic, or crawl space to try and locate any possible leaks where you may be losing air and energy.
- Depending on the season, the specialist will use an infrared camera to determine air infiltration to see where cold or hot air may be leaking in your home. In the summer, the specialist will be able to see “red,” which indicates that hot air is leaking in. In the winter, the specialist will be able to see “blue,” which indicates that cold air is leaking in.
- If you have a pool or hot tub, the specialist will also verify the motor to determine an estimated cost based on your pump’s run time. They will likely suggest putting your pool or hot tub on a timer to reduce overall run time and unnecessary consumption.
- Finally, audits usually include an inspection of the lighting in your home. If you’re using standard incandescent light bulbs, you can easily reduce your electricity costs by switching over to light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
The recommendations that your energy specialist makes for your home depends on the scope of the audit. Not every home is the same; however, every homeowner shares the same responsibility. It is 100% up to the member to make the necessary changes that could improve the efficiency of their home. Some lightweight suggestions may be switching to more efficient lighting, sealing air leaks from doors and windows by adding weather stripping, threshold seals, or caulking. Some larger suggestions might include more insulation, or replacing windows that are causing drafts in your home. We highly recommend consulting with one of our energy specialists before making any major home improvements, as well as, before adding a renewable energy system to your home.
Visit Union Power's website for more information on home energy audits, or to take advantage of our free in-home audits.