How to audit your home’s energy efficiency

A home that wastes energy can put significant strain on your budget. Extremely cold winter temperatures and scorching summers, together with a poorly performing thermal system will drive monthly heating and cooling costs higher than expected.

So what can you do to cut the waste and the expense? For starters, clean all the filters in your heating and cooling equipment. This helps to improve the efficiency of your home; however, the best way to tackle your home’s energy inefficiencies head on is to understand your home’s overall performance with an energy audit.

To perform the audit, a certified Home Energy Rater will conduct a series of tests to provide an overall efficiency rating in much the same way that household appliances are rated. Armed with this information, you can make home improvement decisions that further boost your home’s energy efficiency.

One common energy audit test is a door blower, or airflow, test. A large fan is used to pull air out of the house and create negative pressure inside. The higher air pressure outside the home then flows into the home through the unsealed cracks and openings. To detect where these air leaks are located, the auditor will use a smoke pencil. A well-sealed home should have no air leaks. The auditor may also complete a comprehensive infrared scan of your home using an infrared camera. These scans provide a clear image of where the inefficiencies in your home are.

One of the easiest ways to dramatically improve the overall performance of your home following an energy audit is to assess your home’s existing insulation. Insulation and a tight air seal are vital to keeping the temperature inside your home comfortable and consistent all year round.

Another effective solution that offers immediate and long-term cost savings is replacing your home’s traditional fibrous insulation with high-performance spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation, such as Icynene, is a wise investment for homeowners who want to make significant improvements to their home that have a long-term, positive impact. Able to perform in all climates, spray foam insulation allows homeowners to utilize air-conditioning systems more efficiently throughout the summer and their furnaces during winter.

As a modern insulation solution, spray foam insulation expands rapidly to completely seal a home’s walls, floors and ceilings and prevent air leakage. Insulation experts from Icynene note that quality spray foam insulation can noticeably reduce monthly cooling and heating costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent. Additionally, spray foam insulation helps minimize random airborne moisture and pollutants from entering the home. This is ideal for anyone suffering from seasonal allergies, an important consideration as spring arrives. For more information on how spray foam insulation can help homeowners optimize the efficiency of their home, visit www.icynene.com.


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