You’ve decided to have an energy audit in an effort to save some cash and make your home more comfortable both during the winter cold and the summer heat. Now, you’ll also see an extra benefit from that professional assessment.
That energy audit may also reveal potential safety hazards — and if it doesn’t, then you’ve got the peace of mind of knowing a pro went through your home and declared it safe.
Sounds like a double bonus in having your energy audit done.
That energy audit surveys your home and the various energy-consuming equipment, a process generally taking between one to three hours to inspect all of your apparatus for both energy waste and safety concerns. And don’t forget that most New Yorkers qualify for a free or reduced-cost home assessment.
The contractor will make a visual inspection of living spaces, the attic and basement, and your crawl spaces. Special attention will be paid to the blower door, where energy loss — and potentially hazardous gases — is most likely to be found. The audit will make sure all of your combustion equipment like the furnace, boiler, hot water tank, and stove are operating properly and safely.
If a safety risk such as carbon monoxide or natural gas leakage, mold, potential fire or explosion hazards, or another concern is discovered the contractor will describe the situation and recommend the proper cure. You can help with the location of problems by describing any areas of drafts, hot or cold spots, moisture or mold, and weird smells, and make sure to note any physical symptoms like persistent headaches or feelings of flu-like symptoms.
When that energy audit is the first step in taking part in the New York Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program, the final step by the professional contractor after all renovations are complete is the ‘test-out’. Then, the air quality is tested to make sure the newly increased air tightness in the home does not now cause problems of its own in possible breathing or combustion concerns.
For more details on the safety benefits of an energy audit, log on to the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency’s website at: http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/