Do you use energy-efficient lighting and keep a close eye on heating, cooling and hot water usage, but you’re still puzzled by sky-high energy bills?

The solution to your energy flux, and that of many other Cincinnati area homeowners, is a comprehensive energy audit.

Energy audits: DIY or professional?

An energy audit is the process of analyzing and measuring where energy is being wasted in a home. For DIY energy auditors, simple tools like an incense stick, caulk and weatherstripping can be used to reveal and seal air leaks.

Here’s the step-by-step DIY method:

  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Light an incense stick and hold it up to window and door seams, electrical outlets, the garage access door and the attic hatch or door.
  • Any place where the smoke wavers is the location of an air leak.
  • Use weatherstripping around doors, including the attic hatch or door.
  • Use silicon caulk to seal cracks around windows.
  • Install gaskets behind outlet plates.

A professional energy audit entails the use of specialized equipment by a qualified technician that accurately pinpoints and measures air leakage and implements infrared imaging to reveal areas lacking insulation. Energy-usage habits are analyzed, as well as other dynamics of the household, such as work schedules, areas unoccupied much of the time, average thermostat settings and the type of thermostat in use.

  • A blower door test depressurizes your home, revealing air leaks as outside air is pulled inside. A calibrated test indicates the rate of leakage over a specified time.
  • A thermal scan using infrared video reveals hot and cold spots around the exterior of your home, indicating areas that are lacking in insulation.

A professional energy audit is much more detailed than this brief description. You’ll receive a printout of the results and suggestions for useful measures you can take to make your home more efficient and comfortable, and to finally shrink those energy bills.

If you’d like more detailed information about a home energy audit, contact the professionals at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve helped homeowners in greater Cincinnati with HVAC, plumbing and energy-efficiency issues for more than 100 years.

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