High Energy Bills Signal It’s Time for a Home Performance Evaluation
High energy bills are often a telltale sign that a Home Performance Evaluation by an Energy Star partner may be in order. This is a national program from the U.S. Department of Energy and is managed by local sponsors who recruit qualified contractors to perform whole-house assessments. With a whole-house approach, a comprehensive assessment is conducted that includes evaluation of such things as performance of the HVAC system, levels of insulation, types and placement of windows and airflow into and out of the home. Unlike conventional energy audit programs, the goal focuses on using recommendations to help reduce energy expenditures and conserve on energy resources.
Key Factors of the Home Performance Evaluation
- Whole-Home Energy Assessment: Only contractors trained in building science principles may participate in the program. These professionals perform diagnostic and visual assessment of the home’s entire mechanical and thermal systems, including hot water systems, attics, home heating systems and exterior walls. A full evaluation is also done on the home’s lighting and appliances. Homeowners are given a detailed list of improvements along with price estimates.
- Contractors and Common Recommendations: Contractors must adhere to the industry best practices in both assessment and recommendation. The most common recommended improvements include lighting upgrades, appliance upgrades, additional insulation, energy efficient HVAC systems, duct sealing and repair and replacement windows.
- Diagnostic Testing and Verification: Diagnostic testing typically includes evaluating combustion safety and measuring duct leakage and air infiltration. Contractors must perform diagnostic tests after finishing the recommended enhancements to verify that the home’s energy performance has improved. Each homeowner is given a summary report outlining the test results along with an estimation of energy savings.
- Independent Monitoring of Contractor’s Work: All contractors who participate in the Home Performance Evaluation program are monitored under a quality assurance plan by the sponsor. Detailed records are kept about on-site inspection protocols and customer feedback. This whole process ensures that the contractor is in compliance.
At Mike Merritt Heating & Air Conditioning, we have certified and experienced technicians who can perform a Home Performance Evaluation of your home. If you think your energy bills are too high, be sure to give us a call. In addition, we offer Internet coupons for savings on new HVAC systems, repairs and service maintenance. Take advantage of our competitive prices and the convenience of our flexible financing plans with low interest.