A home energy audit (also called a Home Performance Assessment) can tell you a lot about your home’s efficiency profile. Performed correctly, the audit will reveal a gamut of energy shortcomings in your residence. Similarly, corrective action recommended by the audit will cover a spectrum of cost, urgency and effort. The average savings resulting from taking the process all the way to completion ranges from 5 to 30 percent. How far you go and how fast you get there, however, is not carved in stone.
Once you have the home energy audit report in hand, you can establish your own priorities based on these criteria:
- Lowest cost first - If you’re on a budget and want to tackle the least expensive issues up front, you have several options. Sealing air leaks that allow heat in or out of the home is cheap and effective. Use weatherstripping to seal gaps around doors and windows and caulking to close cracks elsewhere. Installing a programmable thermostat will also help bring energy costs down.
- Biggest payoff first - If you’re a seeker of instant energy-conservation gratification, tackle the projects that make the biggest dent in monthly expenses the fastest. Replacing old windows with the new dual-pane insulated variety is expensive, but it will cut your utility bill by up to one-third from day one. Major appliances that still function but are no longer on the cutting edge of energy conservation can be retired early to produce a quick 20 percent reduction in operating costs. Comprehensive, whole-house insulation upgrades that immediately save energy are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $500 if completed by December 31, 2013.
- Least effort first - You probably won’t break a sweat sealing air leaks. Rolling out a few batts of insulation to upgrade your attic’s R-value isn't too labor-intensive, either, if you pick a cool day. Replacement of some old energy-hog appliances may be possible with minimal exertion as well.
Since 1936, P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling has been Cleveland’s choice for all-season comfort and energy efficiency. Call us to schedule a home energy audit and start cutting your cooling and heating costs today.
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.