Find out where your home is wasting energy and how to fix it!
A home energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy-efficient. An audit will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time.
During the audit, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Energy audits also determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems and can show you ways to conserve electricity. You can perform a simple energy assessment yourself, or have an energy auditor from Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC) carry out a more thorough assessment.
A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. Thorough audits often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.
WEC has specialists who perform energy audits free for members. A professionally trained energy consultant from WEC will visit, ask questions, and inspect doors, windows, and insulation at your home. From this information, WEC will prepare a written report with recommendations and information about cooperative programs, including the Habitat Weatherization Program, to make your home or business energy-efficient.
Blower Door Test — If necessary, our energy auditor can use a process called a blower door test that tells whether or not air leakage is a problem in your home. Air leakage that allows outdoor air into your home can increase heating and cooling expenses by 10 to 30%. Cracks around windows and doors were once considered to be the home’s most prominent air leaks. Then building specialists started measuring air leakage with a blower door test.
This research shows the biggest air leaks are lurking:
- In the attic
- Around the foundation
- Where utilities pass through the building’s outer shell
Looking for Significant Leaks Yourself
Take a bright light into your attic, basement, or crawl space and follow the paths of utilities where they pass through walls, ceilings, and floors. You’ll often find large air leaks under bathrooms and kitchens where pipes and wires are installed. In the attic, note where pipes, wires, recessed light fixtures, and chimneys penetrate your ceiling. Follow the plumbing and wiring, and you’ll be on the right track.
What to Do When You Find Them
When you find openings that allow air to leak into and out of your home, fix them by sealing them with durable materials.
- For cracks up to an inch, use liquid foam that comes in a can, or stuff fiberglass tightly into the opening.
- For larger openings, use rigid foam board or plywood, and seal the edges with more liquid foam.
- If you seal around chimneys, be sure to use fireproof materials such as sheet metal.
Every opening you seal will reduce the amount of heated air you lose next winter.
Schedule an Energy Audit
WEC members can arrange for one of our Energy Consultants to come to your home and perform an energy audit by choosing one of the options below:
- Submit the online request form below.
- Or call us to set up an appointment at (800) 239-4602.
- To send questions or comments please email us the information on the form below. Please understand that it could take up to a couple of days for us to respond.
Contact me for an appointment to have an energy audit of my home.