Energy Efficient Historic Homes, Part 2: Energy Audit for Historic New Orleans Homes

By June 12, 2014Home Energy Audit, News

Lower Your Energy BillHome Energy Audit

Folks have come from near and far to adopt New Orleans’ historic homes as their own, often nursing back to life structures that look like they’re on their last leg. Before you start treating your historic home, however, it’s a good idea to get a checkup. A home energy audit is the first step towards getting an older home on the mend. The diagnosis provided will let you wisely proceed with the proper treatment for your home’s energy ailments.

Home energy audits allow you to see where your home is wasting energy. A comprehensive audit by a reliable professional auditor will offer more than a laundry list of upgrades; it will help you develop a long-term energy plan that will guide you as you undertake home improvements.

When you’re seeking an auditor, be sure that you choose one who is RESNET-certified, which means you’ll be guaranteed a trust-worthy, knowledgable assessment. A HERS (Home Energy Rating System) home energy rating conducted by a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater consists of diagnostic testing using specialized equipment.

A blower door test is just one of the assessments conducted by a certified auditor. Duct leakage testers, combustion analyzers, and infrared cameras are also employed to detect a variety of potential problems. Of course the auditor is looking for the amount of air leaks in the building’s envelope, but he’s also looking for where  they exit: around electrical outlets, window trim, or even HVAC distribution ducts. In addition, tests conducted during the assessment take into account the effectiveness of insulation within walls, ceilings, and crawl spaces as well as existing or potential combustion safety issues.

Older homes in particular are subject to air leaks due to structural settling and loosening of joists, which is why so many are drafty in the winter and inconsistently cooled in the summer. But air leaks create more than discomfort. They also provide openings for mold, mildew, and rot to seep into older wooden structures, causing wood damage. Add termites to the mix, and historic homes with air leaks face real trouble.

When you’re ready to begin analyzing your historic home’s energy efficiency, be sure to choose a company that appreciates and understands Louisiana’s historic buildings. Remember to also find an auditor who is a licensed contractor and RESNET-certified energy expert. Anticipate a couple of hours for a thorough examination of your home’s envelope and, if possible, have a year’s worth of energy bills available to share with your auditor to establish a baseline for your energy usage.

If you’re in southern Louisiana, Sunlight Contractors offers a free home energy audit to get you started on your path to energy efficiency. Give us a call and let’s get started today! Next week, we’ll take a look at the next step on that path: air sealing!

Locations:

Main Office: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 2323 Bainbridge St #110, Kenner, LA 70062 (504) 222-2082

New Orleans location: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 1635 Elysian Fields Avenue, Suite 325, New Orleans, LA 70117 (504) 302-0058

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