How do I achieve a higher level of energy efficiency after basic upgrades?
To achieve the next level of energy savings in your home, you need to find out where any energy inefficiencies exist. For example, is there significant air leakage through the roof, walls, doors, or windows? Are the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems (furnace, water heater, heat pumps, etc.) considered energy efficient using current standards or are they in need of an upgrade? Could aging home appliances be upgraded to Energy Star Rated appliances? You may need a home energy audit to discover the energy inefficiencies in your home and any recommendations for improvement.
MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy provide free home energy audit assessments for their customers. Customers of other utility providers should check directly with their provider. Some local HVAC contractors and businesses provide a home energy audit service for free or a fee. It is recommended that the auditor be a BPI/HERS (Building Performance Institute/Home Energy Rating System) certified home energy auditor.
The Iowa Energy Center is currently working with the Center on Sustainable Communities (COSC) on a web-based “Best Practices in Energy and Resource Efficiency for Iowa Homeowners” project which is expected to be completed and online in a few months.