Purchasing An Existing Home? 3 Problems You Could Uncover With A Home Energy Audit
Buying an existing home, instead of new construction, is a good way to get more house for your money. Most older homes sell for less per square foot than a similarly-sized new construction home, and the savings can add up to thousands of dollars on the total cost.
But purchasing an existing home can mean dealing with conditions left by one or more previous owners. Since many of these conditions may affect the way the home uses energy, consider having a home energy audit performed.
Leaky HVAC ducts
Major losses of heated and cooled air are often caused by aging or damaged HVAC ducts. An existing home that has had more than one previous owner may have undergone renovation projects that impacted the performance of the HVAC ducts. Settlement of the ground, severe wind, and storms can also create conditions that allow HVAC seams to begin pulling apart and causing leaks to form.
Leaking HVAC ducts can impact the heating and cooling system performance, lead to humidity issues inside the home. This can substantially raise energy bills and result in shorter lifespans for HVAC equipment. A home energy audit examines the condition of ducts and determines if they are properly insulated.
Airflow and infiltration issues
Another important point that homeowners will learn from having a home energy audit performed is whether there are any existing problems with airflow or air infiltration in the home. If the airflow from the HVAC system is being obstructed, the system will need to work harder and use more energy to keep the home at the occupant's desired thermostat setting.
More energy will also be wasted if outside air is leaking into the envelope of the home or conditioned air is being allowed to leak through to the outside. Home energy audits can help detect airflow and infiltration issues and help homeowners understand how to address them.
Insulation types and amounts
While most homebuyers are familiar with the basic insulation guidelines recommended for use in residential walls, ceilings, and floors, the seller may not have provided detailed information about the age, type, or amount of insulation for the home in question. A home energy audit provides the new owners with specific, detailed information about existing insulation and helps them to understand how to make efficient improvements if needed.
To learn more about home energy audits and why scheduling one is important after buying an existing home, contact a reputable home energy audit service in your area.