Have you been thinking about replacing windows or siding on your house? Before you hire a Knoxville contractor, it is important that you understand energy efficiency and how to conduct an audit of your home. There are several areas in your home where you could be losing energy; the most prominent areas are roofs, insulation and windows.
The most well-built home can have air leaks, which means your heating and cooling dollars, are sliding right out between the rafters. Of course, small cracks and leaks are not readily apparent in most cases but you can use a couple different methods to find these insidious leaks.
Start by visually inspecting your home for unsealed cracks. Corners, window frames, doorframes and areas around the foundation where the frame and foundation meet. Gaps around pipes and spaces around your door facing can cause a lot of air leakage.
If you want to take your home energy audit a little, further you can perform a depressurization test. Go through your home and turn off all major combustible appliances such as furnaces and hot water heaters. Close off openings such as chimney flues and close all windows and doors. Next turn on any exhaust fans, bathrooms and kitchen are prime locations. Finally walk around your home with a lighted incense, anywhere the smoke is diverted is a prime place for sealing.
Do you live in an older home? One thing you have to realize is that homes are built to the energy efficiency standards of the time they were built. Today energy prices are at an all-time high, which means your home may not be adequately insulated. The first place you want to turn to inspect home insulation is the attic.
Does your attic insulation include a vapor barrier? When you cook and shower moisture builds up in the air and as a natural course of action, this moisture seeks out the coolest places in your home. Warm moist air that builds up in your walls or attic become trapped and can lead to serious damage as well as energy loss. If your attic does not have a vapor barrier, it is important to rectify this immediately.
Most heating and cooling appliances require regular maintenance and inspection. In between annual inspections, you also want to regularly check filters and clean outer vents to keep your unit running efficiently. Generally, if you have a heating or air unit that is 15 year old or more it may be time to get a newer unit. Newer heating and cooling devices are more energy efficient than their older counterparts.
Energy efficiency is an important topic and in some cases, you will need a Knoxville contractor who is familiar with energy efficient materials. However, before you get started on a complete home remodeling project do a quick in home energy audit which should include replacing inefficient appliances, discovering air leaks and sealing up cracks, pipes and crevices.