Energy Efficiency for Comfortable Living
A comfortable living is an energy-efficient home. The steps below outline the process for making your home more comfortable in living through energy upgrades and highlight the importance of choosing certified home energy professionals to do the work.Not all contractors are the same. Some concentrate on kitchens, some on bathrooms. Some concentrate on home energy upgrades focusing on ways to make your home comfortable living, energy efficient and healthy. Look for companies that employ workers who carry the national Home Energy Professional Certifications. A home performance contractor will have a certified auditor either on staff or under contract to evaluate your home. A home performance evaluation, or energy audit, requires specialized equipment and trained individuals -- called energy auditors to operate that equipment. Energy auditors who carry a Home Energy Professional Certification have met the required professional and educational prerequisites and are certified to the highest standard in the industry, proving they are qualified to conduct a home performance evaluation.The most important piece of equipment an energy auditor operates is called a blower door, which is used to determine where air is leaking out of your home. If you followed the auditor around while the blower door is running, you might be surprised at what you’d find. Air leaking through face plates on switches and outlets, and escaping around doors, windows, pipes, and under sinks and all of these places add up. Put them all together and you could have a space the size of a bathroom window maybe even bigger that’s constantly open. The blower door test is a good way to learn why your house isn’t comfortable living. In addition to the blower door, certified energy auditors use tools such as gas leak detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, kill a watt meters and lead-safe testing kits to give your home a thorough evaluation. Be sure to ask if your auditor is certified and what equipment will be used for the evaluation. If your auditor is just going to walk through your house and estimate what work needs to be done, you don’t have an experienced home performance contractor. Ask if you can shadow the auditor during the evaluation most will welcome the chance to teach you about your home. While all comfortable homes are different and need to be evaluated base on their own unique characteristics, most dwellings can benefit from similar types of improvements. Before your energy audit begins, be sure to ask your home energy upgrade contractor about the following things. Some of the upgrades you could do yourself, like replacing a refrigerator or installing a programmable thermostat, provided you know those are significant sources of energy loss.
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