Energy Star estimates that the average American family spends $2,200 annually on energy costs, nearly half of which is spent on heating and cooling systems. Families may try to save money by cutting corners and shutting off these systems on temperate days, but, during the hottest summer and coldest winter days, this personal sacrifice may not be worth the financial benefits.

Many homeowners do not realize how much energy they may be wasting on heating and cooling systems that do not perform up to the highest standards. Families can take simple steps to rectify these problems and reduce their energy bills. Energy efficient homes are not difficult to create, but homeowners may need advice on how to convert their homes to energy saving stalwarts.

For 20 years, Alban Inspections has worked in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania to help homeowners determine problem areas in their living spaces and provide cost-effective solutions that don’t infringe upon their comfort.

Common energy problems

Some of the most common energy problems also have the most significant impacts on a homeowner’s energy bill. During the hottest summer and coldest winter days, air can escape from the house through windows that are not properly sealed.

The type of light bulb a family uses can also needlessly drive up their costs: According to Energy Star, 12 percent of a family’s energy bill goes toward lighting the home.

Finally, for all the positive effects energy efficient homes provide, there is one potentially negative effect – mold growth. Mold requires standing moisture to grow, and since most energy efficient homes are designed to limit air flow in and out of the home, mold growth can be quite common. Not only can mold break down integral parts of the home’s structure if it is left unattended, it can also cause allergic reactions in home occupants.

Simple solutions

During a home inspection, an experienced professional from Alban Inspections can perform an energy audit to assess areas of their houses that homeowners can improve. A qualified inspector will check the home for air leaks and uninsulated areas and suggest modifications that conform to the homeowner’s budget.

Homeowners may need take steps to seal off windows, especially during the winter, to prevent heat loss. In extreme instances, the homeowner may need to replace the windows entirely. Alban Inspections can assist a homeowner in making that determination.

Sometimes, regular maintenance of home, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units can address many energy problems. Homeowners that keep up with their HVAC systems should also be able to avoid the high costs of repair that come with broken systems.

While lighting does not use as much energy as HVAC systems or home appliances, families can significantly reduce lighting costs without having to live in the dark.

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs use a fraction of the power as traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times as long. Homeowners may not even notice the difference in light quality, as CFL bulbs give off about the same amount of light as their incandescent predecessors.

If a mold outbreak is suspected, an Alban Inspections expert can conduct mold testing to confirm a mold incident, investigate where moisture may be infiltrating the home and deliver possible remedies to the problem.

The role of the homeowner

Alban Inspections is equipped to complete cost-effective energy testing, mold and mildew testing, radon testing, septic inspections and even some commercial inspections. The strength of Alban Inspections lies it the invaluable advice it provides to homeowners that allows them to take an active role in service to their homes. Alban Inspections can educate homeowners and give them steps toward achieving this autonomy.