Homes in New Orleans run the gamut of household problems. Our summers are brutally hot and humid. Our winters are cold and, well, humid. Nearly year-round, we’re running some sort of appliance to either cool us down or heat us up.
Our beautiful, older homes are drafty, and our hardwood floors prone to rot and termite damage. Dampness trapped in old insulation leads to mold and must, irritating allergies and leaving the home smelling unpleasant. But still, it’s New Orleans. We love it.
More importantly though, many of these problems can be resolved. At Sunlight Contractors, we offer home energy audits that will help you identify your biggest problem areas and come up with an integrated solution to those problems.
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.
What is a home energy audit?
A home energy audit allows you to see where your home is wasting energy. A comprehensive energy 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.
Our home energy audit will provide you with a detailed report on the condition of all of your major systems. We’ll check the efficiency, safety, and proper functioning of your water heater, furnace and boiler, ductwork, and insulation, and we’ll look for air leakage levels throughout your house, from your lighting to your ventilation.
This analysis allows us to give you specific recommendations on what improvements to make and in what order. It’s senseless to buy a new HVAC system before you’ve properly insulated your house. In truth, once your house is sealed tight with spray foam insulation, you may find your HVAC needs are much more modest than you originally believed.
A home energy audit in New Orleans will help you account for your consumption so you can correct it. It will save you significant amounts of money in the long run. Visual and diagnostic assessments of your entire home will be conducted.
What’s included with an energy audit?
- Visual inspection of the property
- Visual inspection of all ductwork
- Measuring the level of th existing insulation
- Infrared camera inspection to determine if there is insulation in the exterior walls
- Perform a blower door test of the home to determine how drafty the house is and to determine if air sealing is needed.
- Infrared camera inspection during the blower door test to check where the air is coming from and where the home is leaking air.
- Provide a list of improvements and an estimated cost associated with the list of improvements.
- The energy audit will be performed by a BPI certified technician.
Hiring a certified energy auditor
When you’re seeking an energy auditor, be sure that you choose one who is also RESNET-certified. This means you’ll be guaranteed a trust-worthy, knowledgeable 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 energy auditor. Duct leakage testers, combustion analyzers, and infrared cameras are also employed to detect a variety of potential problems.
Of course the energy 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.
Benefits of an energy audit
- Save money on your utility bills
- Eliminate certain health risks
- Extend the life of your home or business
- Increase your property’s value
- Lower your energy footprint
- Improve comfort in your home or office
- Increase the lifespan of your appliances
It is important to note that the process doesn’t end with the energy audit. The entire purpose of the audit is to determine what steps you need to take to make your home or business more efficient.
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 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!
How do you know if you need a home energy audit?
Sometimes problems and their solutions are obvious. Many of our customers lived in older homes that had absolutely no insulation to speak of. In other cases, the trouble may be unclear at first. Usually energy loss happens in small spaces, tiny cracks in ductwork or around windows and doors, for instance. You may not be able to see the problem with your naked eye, but you see the symptoms in the guise of rampant energy loss, overworked HVAC systems, and even health issues.
Getting a home energy audit is the first step in finding out what your home needs. We’ll also provide you with estimates of recommended improvements and upgrades. If you’re a wise consumer, you may take that estimate and shop around. We’re confident that you’ll be back though. We provide the best value for the highest quality services and supplies in the area. Our team of energy consultants are RESNET and BPI certified and trained experts.
So when you’re ready for a home energy audit, get in touch with us at Sunlight Contractors. We’re here to help you become more energy efficient homeowners.
Main Office: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 2323 Bainbridge St #110, Kenner, LA 70062 (504) 222-2082
New Orleans location: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 650 Poydras St, Suite 1400, Rm 33, New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 302-0058