The Low Down On Green Living
November 10th, 2008
Have you had your home energy audit yet? If not the time is NOW! Winter is upon us and that means that we’re cranking up the heat and spending more and more money on energy. We can all greatly improve the energy-efficiency of our homes and keep more money in our pockets by getting our homes checked out by professionals.
What is a home energy audit?
A home energy audit is a comprehensive home performance assessment to make your home safer, more comfortable, and more energy efficient. The auditor will look at your heating and cooling systems, duct work, water heater, appliances, windows, doors and more to find areas where your energy efficiency can be improved. Some home auditors perform what is called a “blower door test,” which is conducted by temporarily mounting a powerful fan into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the indoor air pressure. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings, which the auditor can detect using a smoke pencil. And air leaks can be a major cause of heat and cooling loss in a home.
After the auditor or consultant has conducted their survey of your home, they will provide you with customized recommendations for ways in which you can improve the efficiency of your home– and also how you can save money in the long run. Common recommendations can include installing insulation, sealing window and door leaks, installing Energy Star appliances, and switching to a tankless water heater, among others.
We’re thrilled to announce that Sears is launching a home energy audit business in Orange County and parts of Los Angeles, California. The Sears Blue Climate Crew will come to your home and undertake a thorough evaluation. The Sears Home Energy Audit evaluates your home energy efficiency and provides you with a comprehensive improvement plan. The Sears Blue Climate Crew will help you get started on recommended improvements by crediting back the entire $550 audit price on qualifying purchases.
Here’s what the Crew will do in your home:
+ Conduct a homeowner interview to discuss what they’d like us to focus on and target areas of needed improvements
+ Perform a complete visual inspection of the home’s interior and exterior
+ Test using specialized equipment such as a blower door test to measure the home’s rate of air infiltration and to identify source of air leaks.
+ Perform infrared thermal imaging of the building envelope (walls, exterior, etc) to see how much heat or cooling is being lost.
+ Conduct an evaluation of the home’s insulation, heating and air conditioning systems, and appliances for savings opportunities.
+ Test for gas leaks and for unsafe carbon monoxide emissions from your combustion appliances (water heater, stove, and oven)
+ Provide a comprehensive written report with improvement recommendations and estimates of savings from those improvements– and provide a custom consultation to ensure you understand the report and recommendations.
You also get an appliance coupon book for discounts on purchasing Energy Star appliances at Sears.
According to the folks at Sears, typical homeowners who undertake recommendations realize utility savings up to 40%. Click here for more information on the Sears energy audits or call 877-587-1622.
Here at Low Impact Living we have listings of home energy auditors all across the United States. To find an energy auditor near you, please click here.
Here are a few more operations we’re particular fans of:
In the Boston area, Michelle Roberts of EcoHealth Homes
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania contact Strictly Business Energy Inspections
In the Dallas/Ft. Worth area contact HERS Raters of Texas
In San Diego contact Jim Simcoe of Eco Life Consulting
In the San Francisco Bay Area, Sustainable Spaces
Covering most of California there’s Alan Finkel of Green Life Guru
Also in Los Angeles is Anna Rosemann of EcoConsulting LA
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