Service & Maintenance / Extra Edition

Home Energy Audits Point to Most Cost-Effective Improvements

RICHMOND, Va. — The crisp late fall weather is a reminder that cold winter temperatures are on the way. As homeowners fire up the heating systems in their homes, their seemingly functional equipment could be wasting money, due to a lack of efficiency. Energy conservation can save 5 to 30 percent on energy bills which can translate into thousands of dollars a year for homeowners.

Tim Bryant, owner of Bryant Energy Services, shares some advice for keeping customers comfortable while improving the efficiency of their homes. The key is a home energy audit.

“Homeowners can resolve many of the problems keeping their homes from functioning at top efficiency,” said Bryant. But before they spend, they should hire a professional to conduct an energy audit of their home. “An energy audit can tell homeowners where it makes sense to put their time and money for the best efficiency,” he said.

A professional energy audit provides homeowners a thorough picture of where a home is losing energy and what homeowners can do to save money. Their current systems are evaluated and checked for performance. This helps determine how much money the homeowner can expect to save. Results will reveal what is good, what is bad, and how to make things better.

Common problems that can create inefficiencies in a home include poor ductwork. When forced air ductwork is not properly sealed or insulated, it will compromise the efficiency of the heating and cooling system. Also, older homes are not built to meet current energy codes, which can lead to air infiltration issues so that the home’s conditioned air (warm in winter, cool in summer) escapes and unconditioned air seeps into the house.

Bryant Energy Services is one of five Richmond-area energy auditors that participate in the Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA). Members of this alliance give grant money from the Department of Energy to residents who are looking to upgrade their homes making them more energy efficient. This credit works as an incentive toward implementing the recommendations listed in the energy audit. “Participants commit to making improvements that model 20 percent energy savings and RREA will pay $500 of their invoice,” explained Bryant.

Contractors can find available federal, state, local, and utility efficiency incentives by checking the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) at www.dsireusa.org.

Bryant Energy Services provides energy audits, heating and cooling upgrades, load calculations, duct leakage testing, HVAC repair, thermal imaging, and consulting services. For more information, visit www.bryantenergyservices.com.

Publication date: 12/3/2012

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