According to recent studies, the average household in America spends roughly $2,060 per year on energy costs. As we know, these costs get way higher in Westchester County for many properties.You use this hefty chunk of your budget to heat and light your home, power all the appliances, and much more.
The cost of energy in Westchester partly depends on whether you use natural gas, oil, electricity or other fuels. The other factor affecting price is the rate in your specific locale. You know you can’t control the actual price of the fuel for your property, but there is one thing you can control: the amount of energy your home uses. If you consume less energy, your bill will be lower.
A great way to get started and find out how your home does with energy efficiency is to schedule a home energy audit.
What Happens During a Westchester County Home Energy Audit?
Depending on the size of your home, professional energy audits can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Professional Auditors have a variety of tools and techniques to assess problem areas. Then they formulate a list of actionable suggestions that will improve your energy efficiency.
Here are five areas and factors that a professional looks at:
- They examine your building from the exterior. Taking a look at various features like windows, walls or eaves, they’ll determine if any leaks or potential issues are present.
- If you have an attic, your professional home auditor will inspect it looking for a few key factors. The biggest issue is usually with your insulation – it’s often installed incorrectly or unevenly. In addition, they’ll make sure the holes for electrical and fiber optic wiring are sealed correctly.
- As you’d expect, the auditor will look at your furnace and your water heater. They may suggest repairs or even upgrades that would save you money over time. They’ll look at your furnace filter to see if it needs replacing, and they inspect ducts or connections in the basement to find possible leaks of cool or warm air from your home.
- Most professional audits will include a blower door test. It’s a device that helps them find leaks inside the home. They’ll close all the doors and windows, then they’ll depressurize the home using the blower door machine. An infrared camera allows the home energy auditor to pinpoint where cold air could be leaking in from outside.
- Finally, most energy audits include a check of your home’s lighting. If you’re using standard incandescent light bulbs, you can easily reduce your electricity costs by switching over to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
There are other tools and tactics the auditor can employ depending on the audit’s scope, such as thermographic inspections. But we covered the most common and useful methods a professional energy auditor will use to help you make your property more energy efficient and less costly on a monthly basis.
The improvement suggestions might range from small, like updating light bulbs, to larger, like replacing windows. The upgrades generally save energy and money over time, depending on how long you’ll have the property and how costly the improvements would be.
Perform Your Own DIY Home Energy Audit
Here are a few tips for doing a mini DIY home energy audit:
- Any areas in your home that feel especially drafty? The most common spots for leaks are where walls and ceilings meet, by doors and windows, and outlets. You can seal leaks you find with caulk or weatherstripping.
- Look at your attic. Is there enough insulation, and is it evenly distributed?
- Check your AC unit and furnace as well to see if there are any vulnerable points causing leaks. Also check your filter and replace it if necessary.
- Switching your bulbs out for more energy efficient options is a fast and affordable way to lower your bill. Go with LEDs, CFLs or energy-saving incandescent bulbs.
- Take advantage of energy savings if you’re in need of new appliances or fixtures. These days most appliances come with energy efficient features that use less energy.
When is the best time to get a home energy audit?
If you think your energy bills are too high, then don’t wait to get a professional energy audit. And if saving money on your bills is the goal, getting any improvements made are the first step.
Also, winter is coming up soon so it’s a good idea to schedule an audit during the fall. Getting some improvements made before the bitter cold hits will help you cushion the impact of those crazy heating bills.
When you’re spending a lot on your energy bills, any time is the right time to get an energy audit. The sooner you make updates to your home to make it more energy efficient, the sooner you’ll start saving money.
Contact us today for more information.
STERLING PROPERTY SOLUTIONS
77 Tarrytown Rd Suite 1E
White Plains, NY 10607