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Energy Audits and Fireplaces: What You Should Know

Post by : dminCMC


A chimney sweep cleaning the chimney

The structure of your home accounts for 20% of your household’s carbon emissions, and with energy costs rising, this number can only go up unless you take action to cut down on your power usage. The good news is that an energy audit can help you lower your energy bills. This simple process provides valuable feedback about how you use power in your home and recommendations on reducing usage, saving money, and making your home more environmentally friendly.

Chimney sweeps suggest that chimney repair, fireplace maintenance, and energy audits can help significantly lower energy bills.

Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about energy audits, including how they’re done and what they can help you do to save both time and money.

Why You Should Get An Energy Audit

Your home’s efficiency can significantly impact the amount of money you spend on electricity every month. An energy audit lets you see where you’re wasting electricity and what areas need improvement. The process also allows you to discuss changes with the company performing the assessment, who will provide recommendations for making improvements.

Plus, an energy auditor can tell you about tax credits that might be available for your residential property. Depending on the needs of your household, there are several different types of energy audits that you can choose from:

  • General audits evaluate how well buildings use power
  • Commercial audits focus on large buildings like offices
  • High-rise audits assess buildings 10 stories tall or taller
  • Residential audits are appropriate for homes under 1,000 square feet

Depending on the type of assessment needed, they usually take between 3-6 hours to complete.

A chimney sweep during the chimney cleaning process in Connecticut

How To Prepare For The Assessment

Before an auditor comes in, it’s important to take time to set up the space. Make sure you’ve switched all the lights off and unplugged the appliances. Collect any stored items, such as furniture or toys, and move them out of the way so that nothing blocks access for the auditor. Prepare a list of questions to ask while they’re performing their assessment.

To have the most accurate information and feedback possible, it’s also important that you answer the questions the inspector asks. These could include the following:

  • How many people live in your household?
  • What types of activities do they do in their homes?
  • Do they spend a lot of time outdoors?
  • Have you noticed problems with humidity levels?
  • Does the indoor air quality bother you?

What Does The Inspection Involve?

The inspector will check the insulation in the attic, walls, and ceilings. They’ll also check the heating system and air conditioning units. They will measure how much power is coming into your house from the utility company and how much power you use on-site.

In addition to the duct work, heating and cooling system, and fireplace in your home, the audit inspector will also look for cracks in windows or doors that let heat escape from inside the house. They specifically go through windows and doors because:

  • Most people don’t think about how much heat can be lost through their windows. Chimney sweeps suggest that the best way to ensure your home stays at a comfortable temperature during cold weather is by insulating them with storm windows or double-paned glass. If you’re concerned about drafts affecting the integrity of your window frames, consider adding foam insulation around them.
  • Your doors are important in keeping heat or cold air currents.

If the inspector finds any cracks or drafting issues, they recommend sealing them up with caulk.

Other things they might do include checking the ducts and vents around the house to see if there’s an imbalance between intake and exhaust, as well as checking outlets to make sure all are switched off when not in use. They can also advise which light bulbs work best with CFL or LEDs if you want to save money by reducing your electricity usage.

A fireplace burning at a house in Connecticut

What Are Fireplace Energy Audits?

Fireplaces are a great way to heat your home, but they can also be a huge energy drain. A fireplace energy audit is a way to determine if you are getting the most out of your fireplace by discovering where you may be losing heat. A chimney sweep or an audit inspector will identify gaps in your fireplace’s insulation and make recommendations to help seal them, which will, in turn, help save on heating bills.

If you need help improving the efficiency of your existing appliance, most chimney sweeps also offer fireplace installation services. But there are plenty of other things that you can do to get the most out of your fireplace without investing in a new one.

You should always remember to replace logs every hour or so when using a fireplace. Another good idea is venting some smoke outside instead of your home; this will reduce carbon monoxide levels and make for cleaner indoor air.

And lastly, don’t forget to take safety precautions. Don’t overload your fireplace with too many logs at once; this can increase the risk of potential fires.

A masonry chimney on the roof of a house

Get In Touch With Certified Chimney Sweeps In Connecticut

At Creative Masonry & Chimney, we have aligned our chimney repair and inspection services with National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 211, the national fuel-burning appliance standard. We also offer furnace and boiler cleaning services to homeowners in Connecticut to prevent them from becoming a safety or health hazard.

Along with chimney inspections in CT, we also offer chimney sweep and cleaning services. Our chimney division has been active for over 30 years, so you can rest assured that our chimney sweeps will do the job perfectly.

Request a free estimate today!