Why Energy Audits Are Essential For First-Time Homebuyers
The Importance Of a Home Energy Audit When Buying a Property
It’s common for new homeowners to face sticker shock when they look through their first utility bills and wonder how they managed to use so much energy! Every first-time homebuyer should conduct a Phoenix energy audit on their new home. A home energy audit, also commonly known as a home energy assessment, is an inspection that gives you a snapshot of the energy usage in your home. Potential homebuyers can also request an energy audit as part of their offer on a home.
An energy assessment of the heating and cooling systems, lighting, and insulation will help you understand how much energy the home uses each month, how efficient it is, and what problem areas are sucking expensive resources. Once you have the information, you can know exactly where you can save hundreds of dollars on your utility bills through simple improvements such as fixing drafty rooms, sealing up air leaks, or purchasing a more efficient air conditioner. You’ll end up with reduced bills and a more comfortable home. Take a look at how an energy audit is performed and what improvements are most commonly needed.
How a Home Energy Audit Works
Your Glendale home inspector will let you know what information is needed as part of the audit. Most often, he will request past utility bills for the last several months, including winter and summer for comparison. You may also discuss day-to-day energy usage related to work and school schedules, whether you turn up the heat at night or leave the air conditioning running during the day, and more.
When the auditor arrives to inspect your home, he will use specialized equipment such as blower doors, infrared cameras, furnace efficiency meters, and surface thermostats to measure energy usage and efficiency throughout your home. He will inspect appliances, doors, windows, crawlspaces, and walls to check for air leaks and weaknesses. All of this information will be compiled together and explained to you by your home inspector.
Once the audit is finished, you’ll have a better understanding of where the majority of your utility bills costs are going, where your home’s greatest energy losses are, and what home improvements you can make that will improve efficiency and cut back on energy related expenses.
You’ll need to determine your budget for making any of these repairs and improvements, which may range from minor repairs such as fixing seals around windows to replacing major appliances. You’ll also need to decide if you have the experiences and skills needed to perform these repairs on your own, or if you need to hire a contractor to get them done for you.
What Are The Most Common Home Improvements To Improve Energy Efficiency?
Your Phoenix home inspection company can help you understand which problem areas in a home are inefficient and causing high energy bills. It’s smart for first-time homebuyers to request an energy audit along with an inspection on the home they are wanting to purchase. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make a better decision on a home purchase as you are more aware of which improvements may need to be made to the property or can avoid an energy guzzling home. Some of the most commonly recommended repairs after an energy audit include:
Insulation & Air Leaks
If it seems to take a long time to cool off a room even with the curtains closed, it’s important to check the insulation in that room. Check the insulation in the attic, basement, or crawl space nearby as well. Sealing up any air leaks around windows and doors is also critical. Unless your appliances are exhibiting signs of inefficiency, it’s smart to fix air leaks before attempting to replace appliances because you may find that plugging leaks is all it takes to remove drafts and make a room more comfortable.
Water Heating System
Your Phoenix home energy audit should include checking the age and efficiency of your water heater. If it’s not operating well, you may find that replacing it will result in three to four times more efficiency in heating your home’s water.
In hot climates like Arizona, an efficient air conditioning system is critical. Bigger is not always better. It’s important to have an air conditioner that is properly sized for you home. An oversized unit will blast your home quickly with cold air, promoting extra moisture and condensation. However, a unit that is too small will run constantly and not work efficiently. Make sure to choose a unit that suited to your home’s needs.
Replacing your light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs can noticeably benefit your utility bills. Installing sensors, dimmers, or timers can also reduce your lighting usage if you have a hard time remembering to turn lights off when not in use.
Programmable thermostats can help reduce your bills by enabling you to strategically and automatically adjust the temperature. This will prevent you from unintentionally increasing your bills by bumping the thermostat up or down a few degrees throughout the day.
Get An Energy Audit In Phoenix from a Top Rated Home Inspector
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, get a home inspection and energy audit with the best warranty in Arizona when you hire ATS Home Inspections. Tim is an experienced and knowledgeable home inspector who strives to exceed your expectations with a thorough and detailed inspection. To schedule your energy audit, contact us today!