Featured in the Prince William Living Magazine, April 2013
By Rebecca Barnes, Contributing Writer
We are all looking for ways to save money. Having an energy-efficient home is a great place to start. The question, though, is what to do first. Before doing anything, consider having an energy audit done.
"Through an audit, you will find out scientifically what the underlying issues in your home are that are causing your home to be uncomfortable and an energy hog," said Troy Tanner of the Home Energy Detective. "[Energy audits] provide you with a comprehensive report and recommended repairs for your particular home."
Once an interview is conducted, several tests are run to find where it is in the home that energy is being lost. "The goal of the audit is to give you a roadmap to follow so you don't make a decision to spend money on a product or service that does not give you the very best results for your money," Tanner explained.
Common things an energy audit might discover:
- Duct leakage from the HVAC system
- Air leakage into and out of the home
- Poor performing insulation
- A connection from the attached garage where carbon monoxide can enter the home
- Poorly caulked windows and doors
Armed with this information, you will know where to spend your money when making changes to your home.
Another place to look for ways to save money is at your energy bills. Donna Snellings, public relations officer at NOVEC suggests visiting the NOVEC website (www.novec.com) and clicking on the "Home Energy Suite." There, you will find all kinds of tools to use in conjunction with your NOVEC bill. There's also helpful information for non-NOVEC customers.
Snellings suggests clicking on the "Special Purpose Calculators" to find out how much electricity certain appliances use. "People don't understand how much power is used when they leave their TV or lights on," she said. "Even just making small changes, like using energy efficient light bulbs, or changing the filter on their furnace will save money."
With a little bit of research and furnished with the right data, you can make your house the comfortable, efficient home of your dreams!