Most people don’t know what a Home Energy Audit/Assessment is, let alone how it can help you, your family, and your home.
Are your energy bills higher than you think they should be?
Do you have a temperature difference within your home?
Ever wonder why you can’t keep a consistent temperature in your home?
Ever wonder if you have a small gas leak that you can’t smell?
Are you concerned about your indoor air quality?
These are just a few reasons why a Home Energy Assessment is necessary for your home.
Contact Allied Experts today and schedule your Home Energy Audit
What is an Energy Audit?
Getting a Home Energy Audit of your home is the first step to finding out what is going on inside your house when it comes to energy use and misuse. The audit will find out what parts of your home are consuming the most energy. It can also determine other issues such as filtration and ventilation problems. It essentially determines if you are living in a safe and healthy home.
What to Expect?
I interviewed Mark Agosto, a certified Home Energy Auditor, to see exactly what steps he takes in a comprehensive Home Energy Assessment. These are the steps a technician should be taking during your home assessment.
The certified technician will give you a step-by-step overview of what will take place during your assessment.
Our expert technician will do a health and safety check of your gas fired furnace.
He will look at all your HVAC equipment and your water heater to see how old they are, if they are energy efficient, and if they are sized and installed properly.
Then he will thoroughly inspect your attic. He will be looking for air sealing and insulation problems, moisture, electrical and structural issues.
Pictures are taken to capture this information for the engineering and proposal department and for the technician’s overview of the project.
Photographs of the outside of the home are taken as well.
The technician will do a detailed sketch of your home and take interior measurements.
They will use special equipment to check for gas leaks.
They will help identify where there are energy leaks and waste.
They may use thermal imaging on the outside of your home to see where air is leaking out.
They may also do a blower door test.
What is a Blower Door Test?
Click below and learn more about what a blower test does and how it can determine your home’s air tightness
Agosto says these are the questions he will ask you at your energy audit.
Do you have trouble with uneven temperatures?
Do you feel your energy bills are too high?
Does anyone in the home suffer from any breathing issues such as asthma?
Lastly, the technician will sit down and review what was discovered during your inspection.
Before your audit, Agosto also suggests that you:
1. Gather your most recent energy bill. These will show a year’s worth of energy usage. The technician needs to identify high usage and unusual usage behavior. This is critical to a proper Home Energy Assessment.
2. Prepare a list of problems you have detected in your home such as:
Poor heating or cooling distribution between rooms
Running out of hot water
Indoor air quality problems
1. The Report
You will get a comprehensive energy report that will show:
How you use energy
Where it’s being wasted
What you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency
2. The Recommendations
Your assessment results will also include an experts opinion on what steps you need to take to ensure:
A more energy-efficient home
A more cost effective home
A healthier home
1. The Plan
Your technician will also go over ways you can accomplish these improvements and give you a cost effective plan to do so, which include:
How to get incentives and rebates from the state of New Jersey
How to help you get a no interest loan for your improvements
Save Energy-Save Money
Allied Experts have helped over 10,000 homeowners resolve their healthy home and energy-efficiency problems
We have our own Engineering and Proposal Department to make sure we get the best answers for your home
We do all the work ourselves. We do not subcontract
We offer MERV filters to help prevent the spread of germs
And we are always here for you after we do your job
Call Allied Experts today and schedule your Home Energy Audit
Picture this, soon we will be in a typical New Jersey summer, and we have our share of heat along with the dreaded Humidity!
At most workplaces it’s nice and cool. Driving in the car… not too bad. Getting home to your 2 story home is nice. But wait…. You just spent a few hours downstairs and set your thermostat accordingly and now it’s time for bed, upstairs should be nice and comfortable…right? But no sooner do you get to the 2nd floor and WHAM. It’s hot up there!
Do you wonder what’s wrong with the air conditioner? Do you lower the thermostat even more?
This is a struggle for many homeowners throughout our area and the typical reaction from homeowners is “my AC is broken”
This could be a mechanical issue that requires service, maybe the air conditioner is undersized for your home or you have an older, lower efficiency unit. Or….
Maybe it’s not your equipment.
At Allied Experts we have heard this story a thousand times and we have solutions for every home and every situation.
Why is this happening?
#1. Your Attic
Yes, the room you never visit. In the attic there are many escape points for hot air to settle down on your second floor. Air Sealing these cracks and crevices is a major step to preventing hot air leaking into your living space and the cool air generated by your air conditioner moving up into the attic. Summer attic temps can be 140 degrees or more in a lot of New Jersey homes and because you have air leaks, your air conditioner unit is working overtime to satisfy the thermostat setting.
**It has been calculated the air escaping from cracks and crevices is the equivalent to leaving a window open all year round. The Department of Energy estimates 30% of a home heat loss is through the attic/roof.
Air Sealing and Insulation
Sealing the attic and adding insulation improves:
Indoor Air Quality – Cleaner and healther
Eliminates drafty rooms
Reduces the strain on heating and cooling systems
Comfort level optimized year round
Most homes lack a sufficient amount of insulation. A majority of homes have the insulation levels from 20 to 40 years ago.
That may have been adequate then but now it doesn’t meet the New Jersey standard energy code. Energy costs have gone up considerably (as we know) and we tend to forget about our attic space when considering a higher utility bill. By upgrading your attic insulation, you can reduce the amount of cooling or heating air that escapes through your attic.
Leaky duct work or dirty ducts can be a major problem in your home. Sealing ducts makes perfect sense. Why throw money away.
Time to take action! Control your home, don’t let it control how you live!
The summer months are approaching and while your thoughts may be on summer vacations, outdoor barbecues and lounging by the pool, it is important that you take precautions in your home to make sure your summer goes as smoothly as possible.
We’ve compiled a list of 5 simple things you can do to prep your house for warm weather – and save you time, money and stress.
1. Check and tune up your air conditioner
There’s nothing worse than having your air conditioner break on the hottest day of the summer and then having to wait to get an HVAC company out to repair it, during their busiest season. That’s why spring is the best time to check out your air conditioning system to ensure it will keep you cool during the warmest months.
Clear the debris that has built up around your outside unit to prevent it from getting into your cooling unit.
Change the filter. Clogged and dirty filters make air conditioning systems work harder, stay on longer and cost more to run.
Turn on your unit to see how it’s working. Even if everything does seem to be in working order, it is still a good idea to call a professional. Having your unit tuned up annually can help extend its life and keep it running efficiently. Seasonal maintenance is the best way to extend the longevity of your A/C unit.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Now is also a great time to consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat.
Traditional thermostats allow you to increase or decrease temperatures manually, but today’s programmable thermostats offer many convenient features that may surprise you.
Programmable thermostats with Wi-Fi technology allow you to operate your thermostat while on the go using an app on your smartphone or tablet. Wi-Fi connectivity can help you adjust temperatures while you are at work or away on vacation.
Your unit will be able to run at maximum efficiency if programmed correctly. By setting your thermostat to a pre-set schedule, you can reduce energy costs while maintaining a comfortable, efficient home environment.
3. Inspect your outdoor plumbing
There are many reasons why you should maintain your outdoor plumbing. Regular maintenance will identify small problems before they have a chance to develop into something bigger. It can also help you find leaks and reduce water waste, which can also save you money.
Outdoor faucets are prone to leaking, especially if they have frozen over the winter. If you leave your garden hose attached, there can be a tiny bit of water inside which is just enough to freeze and cause cracks and breakage.
If you have an inground irrigation system, you should make sure this is maintained and checked by a professional on a regular basis to ensure it is working correctly. There could be a very costly problem if something does leak or break and you do not notice it right away.
4. Visit your Attic
Before the temperature is too hot to head into your attic, venture up there and inspect it. There are several things that could have happened over the winter that may need your attention.
You may have had critters nesting up there trying to escape the cold. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get rid of any animals and animal droppings. Even if it’s old, animal waste can cause respiratory problems or other diseases. You will also need to find and seal the holes where the animals were entering.
• Although it seems counter-intuitive to add insulation to your home to prepare for the summer, the better insulated your home is, the less you will lose conditioned air through a leak. Consider adding additional insulation if yours has compacted. If you look out across the attic and can see the joists, you probably need more insulation. Insulation values have changed dramatically over the years. A professional can inspect your attic to let you know how to improve the energy efficiency of your attic and home.
Check for air vent obstructions and wet spots in the insulation that may indicate a leak.
5. Consider a Home Energy Audit
Before undertaking any energy efficiency upgrades to your home, you should always begin by having a home energy audit completed. A professional can evaluate your home and will help you to prioritize your projects so that you can save the most money on your project costs and energy bills. As a New Jersey resident, another benefit of a Professional Home Energy Audit is the chance to determine if you may be entitled to receive rebates and incentives through the state to help offset the cost of your home improvements.
If you have any questions or concerns about preparing your home for summer. Please call Allied Experts. We have helped over 7000 NJ residents with their Home Performance needs.
The plumbing, structural, electrical and HVAC systems in your home require regular monitoring in order to catch problems before they become catastrophic. Nowhere is this more true than with your HVAC equipment. Even with careful routine maintenance, the time eventually comes when you will need to replace your heating, cooling and water heating systems. An old or damaged HVAC system can result in issues such as growing energy bills, uneven temperatures in your home and poor indoor air quality. To prepare for that day, keep track of the age of the unit, the sounds it makes, how it looks, the humidity in your home and most importantly get a Home Energy Assessment.
Do you know when your HVAC system was installed? Does your system go on and off more often than it used to? The Department of Energy recommends homeowners should replace their HVAC system every 10 to 15 years. Most new furnaces, air conditioners and water heating systems are Energy Star ® rated or energy-efficient with programmable thermostats. If you are not running one of these systems, it means your system’s performance is nowhere near-optimal. You could save up to 40% on your energy cost by upgrading to a newer energy-efficient unit. Your newer unit will also help reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Mark A. a certified building analyst at Allied Experts says “Most of the homes we visit have older equipment. Once the HVAC system is over 15 years old, they tend to start acting up especially if the unit has not been maintained every year. Homeowners should treat their HVAC units like cars and have preventative maintenance done at least once a year”.
2. Repair parts are expensive!
Even if you choose to fix the mechanical issues, it’s almost impossible to bring an aging unit back to peak efficiency. The equipment has to work harder, so it breaks down more often, and you fall into a vicious and costly cycle.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to repair or replace your current system and it’s more than a decade old, purchasing a new system will be a better investment. All furnaces, air conditioners and water heaters will require repair from time to time, but if any of these appliances are in need of a repair that is expensive, it is smarter to invest in a new one. Your new system will save you money on future repairs as well as on your energy bills.
While an observant homeowner may notice the hum of their heating and cooling systems when it’s running, it should never sound so loud that it interrupts your day-to-day peace and quiet. A furnace or air conditioner that makes loud, aggressive sounds can be an indication of a serious malfunction. You may hear a variety of sounds when your HVAC system gets older. Some of them are normal, but others can indicate a problem.
The noisy operation that intrudes on your enjoyment of your home can indicate a problem with the indoor coil. Hissing sounds are another common occurrence. They can signal a leak somewhere in the system, which wastes energy and allows excess dust to accumulate in your home. Another noise you may hear is clanking. It usually means internal parts, like blades or motor components, are loose or worn out and rubbing together.
Mark A. also says “Short cycling can also be a sign that the unit needs to be replaced. If the unit turns off before it reaches the set temperature or turns on and off repeatedly, throughout the day then the unit may be short cycling.
4. The look of your HVAC system…
You can tell a lot about your HVAC system by the way it appears. Let’s face it, it’s not like your shiny new car, it’s more of an out of sight out of mind situation. Nonetheless, it is important to regularly check your equipment for signs of wear and tear. Mark A. also states “Rust is a big sign that water is leaking somewhere. Water and metal do not get along well. If you see rust at the top of your furnace cabinet, you can almost guarantee that it’s coming from the air conditioner cooling coil which lives above the furnace in most cases. As the air conditioner is running in the summer to cool the house, it also acts as a dehumidifier. The air conditioner’s job is to blow cold air and remove humidity. That humidity needs to drain out of the house. It is very common for a leak to occur where the black line set comes out of the cooling coil. The rust on the top of the furnace usually ends up making its way into the furnace burner cabinet causing damage in very important areas. The longer the coil leaks, the more damage it can cause. In some cases, the moisture can rot out the structural integrity of the furnace cabinet.”
5. Your Energy Bills Keep Increasing
While there will be seasonal changes to your energy costs, bills in the same month of different years should be relatively similar. High energy bills are another common sign that you should replace your HVAC system. As heating and cooling systems age, their efficiency tends to decline. An older system usually operates at about 70% efficiency and a new unit will operate at 95% efficiency according to Mark A. at Allied Experts. As reported by energy.gov, your HVAC system is the highest energy consumption appliance in your home and your water heater is the second. By replacing these systems you can save 20-40 percent on your energy bills.
6. You Can’t Keep Your Home at a Comfortable Temperature
An aging furnace, air conditioner or water heater will often struggle to keep your home at a consistent temperature. This could be the result of a variety of issues such as a damaged or inaccurate thermostat, low fluid levels, clogged filters, cracked ducts, or serious damage to the motors.
Temperature inconsistencies typically mean that your HVAC system is not working efficiently throughout your home. According to energy.gov many HVAC systems are the wrong size or are improperly installed. In either case, opting to keep your current HVAC system will result in an uncomfortable home environment and increased energy bills. With homes varying in size, layout, location and more, every home will have unique needs when it comes to heating and cooling options. Your HVAC system is not one size fits all.
7. You Have Poor Indoor Air Quality
During the summer, an air conditioner is most likely the single biggest factor when it comes to poor indoor air quality and during the winter your furnace may be the culprit. Families that notice mold, mildew, dust or unusual humidity levels might be dealing with a damaged HVAC system that should be replaced.
Besides delivering cooled and heated air throughout your home, your HVAC system is responsible for providing proper ventilation. When working efficiently, your system should improve the quality of the air inside of your home via removing dust, dander, dirt and other debris and keeping humidity under control. If you’ve noticed an increased amount of dust in your home, it could be a sign that your air conditioning system is no longer efficient enough to remove it. Older systems that do not work properly can introduce dust, excessive humidity, allergens, bacteria, viruses and mold into your home.
New Jersey residents know what it’s like to live through a hot, humid summer. One of the functions of your HVAC system is to control the humidity level in your home. If your HVAC system is losing the ability to do that, you will feel it in the comfort level of your living space.
However, you may not know that high humidity in your home can have even more serious consequences. A warm, moist environment encourages the growth of biological contaminants that can aggravate allergies and respiratory problems. High humidity can also accelerate the breakdown of wooden floors and framing, compromising the structure of your home.
If you experience any of these, it is time to have your system inspected by a professional to see how these issues can be resolved. If it’s mold…don’t wait any longer.
If you have recently noticed any of these signs with your HVAC system, contact Allied Experts today. Our team of experienced technicians will explain our process and help guide you to the perfect HVAC system for your home and budget.
At Allied Experts we provide quality HVAC replacement services at economical prices. We also understand that your home, lifestyle, health, future plans, and financial goals are all factors that determine the best system for you. That’s why we provide free Home Energy Assessments with a certified building analyst who will assist you in determining the best comfort solution for your home.
Get The Allied Experts Newsletter
Be the first to know about exclusive deals and promotions