It is commonly known that heat rises, if you need an example, open your freezer and see where the cold air goes. This same principle applies to hot air balloons; the hot air causes the balloon to rise. Many home performance professionals understand what this means for a home in the winter. Unfortunately, the average consumer may not understand how important this concept is. On average 60% of heat escapes through the roof of a house, attic or roof insulation can go a long way in reducing energy consumption and costs. Another common culprit, that professionals see all too often, is a fireplace stealing a home's heat. Most consumers will say, "Wait, Aren’t fireplaces supposed to supply heat, how can they be stealing it?" A large part of any home performance professional's career is in education.
Consumers that live in an apartment have experienced the affects of heat rising in a unique way. Their apartments may become increasingly hot in the winter even when the furnace is turned off. In some cases the extra heat can be so bad that apartment dwellers will actually turn on the air conditioning in the middle of the winter! In this case, simply educating a user on the concepts of an open window may go a long way, if this is an option. Another common trend, in the winter, are complaints of high bills from consumers using electric heating, whether in outdated systems or electric heat pumps. Electric heat is considered to be an extremely expensive method and unfortunately for apartment dwellers they may not have any other option.
A professional that is trying to manage an entire apartment complex or housing development may receive more than a handful of complaints about the heating during the winter months. Providing a customer with a home energy monitor has the ability to show them exactly how their furnace performs, and could possibly lighten your load.
With real-time information they can view exactly when and how often the heater kicks on. In the case of a complaint having this information aids a professional immensely. Comparing this information to weather data will show you if the heater turned on more because of the cold, poor insulation or some other factor, once you know the heater is coming on too often an audit will help you pin-point the area needing improvement. This is priceless for professionals that manage large apartment complexes and receive a flood of requests on a daily basis. Knowing exactly when something needs your attention allows you to focus on more important projects first. Energy awareness not only helps your customers lower their bills it helps save you time.
Forward Energy Solutions, Inc.
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