Having a Home Energy Assessment from Lantern Energy sounded about as fun as going through an IRS audit. Since moving into our house in September, we’ve been shocked by our monthly oil and electricity bills. It costs much more to operate this house than our old house. Despite the money we are pouring into heating, some spots are always cold. We knew we needed to do something, but weren’t sure what. That is were the Home Energy Assessment comes into the story.
For only $75 (Connecticut subsidizes the cost), here is what we got:
- 3 polite service men complete with protective foot booties for a 4 hour period of time.
- Inspection of attic spaces to confirm enough insulation.
- A blower door test. With all doors and windows closed, a blower was put in the front door. The test showed how much air was leaking into the house from outside. One of the techs walked me around the house to feel for drafts.
- Sealing services. Based on the results of the blower door test, the service men went to work to stop the drafts. This included caulking along baseboards and doors, spraying foam insulation under the sinks where the plumbing goes into the wall, installing weather seals to our front and garage doors, adding pipe insulation to the hot water line, and putting butyl tape on any leaks in the duct work.
- 17 replacement CFL light bulbs. I picked where the bulbs went, and one of the service men installed them.
- An air flow test on our HVAC system. The test told how efficient our HVAC system is. Our furnace is relatively new, and performed well. Our AC unit is 20 years old and at the end of its life. The recommendation was to replace, but we can hold off for a little bit.
- An energy assessment of our major appliances. The hot water heater is the Achilles heal of our appliances. While it cranks out the hot water, we are paying dearly for the privilege. A more efficient unit will pay for itself in less than 5 years.
- A written report detailing all that was done, showing our before energy costs, estimated savings post visit, and estimated savings if we implement the recommendations.
The bottom-line of all this work: post visit we should save about $495 in our annual energy costs. Our house should stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.