When high bills are received, it is sometimes hard to determine where exactly the increase in price originated. This rise can certainly be seen during the hot summer months when air conditioners and fans are constantly running to lower the temperature inside a home. These appliances are heavily depended on to maintain a comfortable house, but they may not be running as efficiently as the owner would hope, especially if the house itself is the reason. Poor insulation, air leaks near windows and doors, and old heating and air conditioning equipment can all calculate into a home’s inefficiency. These problems are hard to diagnose if you don’t know what you’re looking for, and professional energy auditors can cost hundreds of dollars. As part of its commitment to helping members lower their energy usage, Orange County REMC is offering FREE energy audits for its residential members.
An Orange County REMC energy auditor travels to your home for free and will measure and evaluate the energy efficiency of your home and provide a report on what steps need to be taken to improve energy efficiency and to reduce your electric bill. The comprehensive energy audit takes approximately two hours and includes a blower door test and an inspection.
The energy auditor measures the home, doors, and windows and gathers information to input into energy audit software. The auditor also checks ceiling insulation, the condition of windows, and water heater temperature.
If your home is 10-15 years old, there’s a good chance that it’s not insulated as well as it should be. Not having enough insulation results in major energy loss. One of the main problem-areas for energy leakage is the attic. During the energy audit, the auditor will measure the R-value of an attic’s insulation. R-value measures resistance to heat flow and is generally determined by the thickness of the insulation. The higher the R-value, the greater a room is insulated. When a home-owner adds additional insulation to their attic, they can see savings of up to 20% on a home’s heating and cooling costs, increase the comfort of their home during the summer and winter, and also increase their home’s resale value.
The energy auditor will also perform a blower door test, which would normally cost approximately $350. A blower door test is performed to find air leaks in a home. While the test is being performed, you can actually feel air leaks coming through window seals, door seals, outlets, and other areas of the home. After the device is set up in the door, it only takes two minutes to determine the house’s Estimated Natural Infiltration Rate (ENIR). The ENIR will inform you how tightly sealed your home actually is.
Also included in the energy auditor’s report will be an estimate of the energy efficiency of the existing heating and air conditioning units compared with the savings that could be achieved with the installation of a new air-conditioner, air-source or geothermal heat pump. All of this information will go into the energy audit software to determine what steps you need to take in order to improve the energy efficiency of your home. A report on the audit (with recommendations) will be mailed to you within two weeks of the energy auditor’s visit.
Scheduling a FREE energy audit is easy. Simply call Orange County REMC at (812) 865-2229 or toll free at 888-337-5900 to get started. To learn more about Energy Audits, you can click here to learn more.