The new year is always a good time to take stock of various aspects of your life. While you’re setting resolutions to improve your personal life, don’t forget to take a good look at your home.
Many homeowners could be losing money because their homes are not as energy efficient as they could be, and with EDF being the first of the big suppliers to announce price increases for the new year, there’s no better time to assess your property for its energy efficiency.
What is a home energy audit?
In its simplest form, a home energy audit is an assessment of your home to see if you’re losing energy, and therefore money. As well as highlighting where the problems may be, it will also make recommendations about how to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
There are two options when it comes to these kinds of audits – you can get a professional audit carried out by an experienced technician, or you can do one yourself.
If you opt for a professional assessment, an expert will visit your home and check each room at a time. They will carry out tests such as a thermographic scan and a blower door test, and they’ll talk to you about your energy usage in detail.
You’ll need to have your annual energy bills to hand, and the auditor will also ask you questions about your behaviour, who is home when, and what kind of usage you have for various appliances. They’ll also look at the outside of your home to check out your double glazing, doors and any other potential sources of heat or energy loss.
Once they’ve completed their audit, they will then provide you with a list of recommendations about how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, which could involve anything from lowering your thermostat by a couple of degrees to replacing your double glazing.
How to do an energy audit yourself
While you may not have access to all the fancy equipment that professional auditor does, you can still identify problems yourself if you know where to look.
One of the first things to do is find any drafts. It’s estimated that sealing air leaks can save households between 10 and 20 per cent on their annual heating bills, so it’s a worthwhile exercise. Check doors and windows for drafts, but also be aware that they can occur along the edge of floors, ceilings or walls, or around electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures.
You should also thoroughly inspect your insulation to make sure that it’s sufficient and that it’s working as efficiently as possible. In lofts or attics, check that there’s a vapour barrier beneath the insulation (this will be similar to a plastic sheet), as moisture in the insulating material will reduce its effectiveness.
Examine any heating and cooling equipment you have too, and make sure that you’ve had your boiler serviced within the past year. If you have a particularly old system, it is well worth the cost of upgrading your boiler, as new models are much more energy efficient and this could save you considerable amounts on your heating bills.
If, once you complete your energy audit, you decide you need new double glazing at your home in Manchester, contact us to find out how we could help.