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A Guide To Home Energy Audits For Phoenix Homeowners

Calender November 30, 2016 at 9:30am
Erika Leitz
Erika Leitz

As an HVAC company devoted to the highest quality customer service and satisfaction, we proudly participate in the Arizona Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program to guarantee your home is performing at it’s optimum energy efficiency. This nation-wide program began in New York in 2001 and was specifically implemented to help homeowners increase energy efficiency and enhance their homes' overall performance.

To date, the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR network includes “over 40 local programs and 1,500 home improvement contractors,” per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Larson Air Conditioning is honored to be one of Energy Star’s recommended contractors and we strive to correct every inefficiency in your home to help you save money, live better, and breathe easier.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is not just about conserving energy and saving money; the purpose of this program is to make your home more livable. We admire this ambition and we’ve made it our top priority to ensure you and your family have complete home comfort. However, before we can begin to improve your home, we need to know what we’re working with.

How Well Do You Know Your Home?

Many homeowners are completely unaware of how much conditioned air they let slip out of their home on a daily basis. There are cracks and openings in the structure of every home/building that may not even be visible but will inevitably lead to air leakage.

Air leakage (also known as infiltration) is the unintentional inflow of outside air into a home or building through cracks and openings such as doorways, window frames, chimney dampers, cable lines, electrical outlets, etc. Air leakage greatly influences a buildings durability.

During our hot Arizona summers, infiltration causes outside air to enter your home, and when there is infiltration surely there is exfiltration. So during the winter months, your heat escapes to cold envelope cavities. In both scenarios, condensation may transpire in the structure of the house/building which can lead to mold and other significant issues. Since our climate is drier than most we’re more concerned with hot outside air leaking in and cool conditioned air leaking out.

Homeowners need to be aware of these factors influencing their energy efficiency. The first step in any recovery is acknowledging the problem.

Have You Experienced Any Of These Problems In Your Home?

Air leakage
  • Hot and cold spots
  • Excessive dust or moisture in the air
  • Pest problems
  • Mold
  • Allergies or respiratory problems
  • High electric bills
  • Trouble keeping the thermostat at a comfortable temperature

There are several tactics a homeowner can attempt to improve energy efficiency and thus comfort in their homes, but the question to ask yourself is: What is the RIGHT tactic? You may think installing insulation is the solution to your drafty bedrooms, when the true culprit is actually leaky ductwork. Rather than spending time and money trying to fix what isn’t broken, let us help you pinpoint the problem at hand. Once we have determined the sources of energy loss throughout your home we can decide the best actions to take from there.

So how do you locate the sources of energy loss in your home? The answer is simple: Call a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified contractor, like Larson Air Conditioning, and we will conduct a professional Home Energy Audit (also referred to as Home Energy Assessment).

What Is A ‘Home Energy Audit’?

A professional Home Energy Audit is the best way to determine where exactly your house is losing energy and what steps you can take to repair the inefficiencies.

The first step is research; we want to know everything there is to know about your house. As I said earlier, we need to know exactly what we’re working with before we can attempt to make any repairs.

The assessment will begin with a simple interview. We will send one of our professionally trained home energy experts out to your house to ask you a series of questions that will help us get a better idea of your typical daily energy usage. It is extremely helpful when we can review your utility bills from previous years to determine an average energy consumption. Our home energy auditor will need to know of any living/comfort concerns you have and how your home operates on a daily basis; for example, how many occupants are in the home and how often?

Following the interview process, the auditor will conduct a visual inspection of the house, assessing every room as well as the exterior, noting the size of the house and its construction make-up features. The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is different than any other approach to home improvement because it not only measures the buildings exterior and interior but also considers the systems operating within the home.

The assessment will include an inspection of your entire HVAC system, lighting fixtures, combustion appliances, ducts/vent system, etc. A few things we’ll be looking for are air leaks, moisture problems, hot and cold spots, ventilation issues, damaged ductwork, and anything else that may increase your home’s energy loss.

Home Energy Audit Checklist:

  • Crawl Space Insulation Inspection
  • Attic Insulation Inspection
  • Duct & Mechanical Vent System Check
  • Indoor Air Quality Check
  • Lighting Evaluation
  • Appliances Checked for Efficiency
  • Pool Pump Efficiency Check
  • Wall Insulation Inspection / Room Balancing
  • Whole Home Air Leakage
  • HVAC Check
  • Water Heater Inspection
  • Window Evaluation

After the assessment is complete, the auditor will review their findings with you and discuss the next phase in achieving an energy efficient home. Whether or not you’ve been considering upgrading your appliances or replacing your HVAC system, you can benefit from a home energy assessment. According to the Arizona Public Service Corporation (APS), you could save up to 30% on your energy bill by taking advantage of a home energy audit and proceeding with the recommended energy upgrades.

Help The Environment By Getting A Home Energy Audit

Saving energy is wonderful because it saves you money but it also saves the planet! The US Environmental Protection Agency claims: “Over half a million happy homeowners have saved enough energy to power more than 128,000 homes for one year.” By producing less greenhouse gases, an energy efficient home will help maintain a cleaner, safer community.

Special Bonus For APS And SRP Customers

If you are an APS or SRP customer and receive a Home Energy Audit through an Arizona Home Performance participating contractor, you could qualify for a number of rebates, special discounts and home energy financing options to help you save even more money!

Follow this link to learn more about our Home Energy Audits and the benefits and rebates we have available: /home-energy-audit.html
Erika Leitz

About The Author

Erika Leitz


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