Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is Peak Energy?
Peak Energy, Inc is a local home performance company who focuses on providing customers throughout Wake County and surrounding areas with improved home comfort and energy efficiency solutions.
- What is a Home Energy Assessment?
Commonly known as a home energy audit, a home energy assessment involves our energy auditor visiting your home to help determine your home's energy efficiency and reveal any areas, that when changed, will reduce your energy consumption, in turn, costing you less money each month.
- Why should I seal my crawlspace?
The summer time air in this region is too hot and humid for it to adequately vent and dry out a crawlspace. High humidity in a crawlspace can lead to mold growth, attract termites and other pests, create structural damage, cause HVAC equipment to rust and lead to unpleasant odors. Musty smells and excessive humidity from your crawl space can work its way into your living space thru gaps and cracks in the floor and duct leaks. Sealing a crawl space can significantly improve your indoor air quality and improve the energy efficiency of your home.
- My HVAC contractor is telling me I need a larger air conditioner. What should I do?
If a sensor goes bad in your car and it starts getting 2 mpg do you get the sensor fixed or buy a bigger gas tank? Use this same concept with your home and air conditioner. If your air conditioner is working, make sure your duct system is capable of efficiently delivering the required air to each room before considering an air conditioner replacement. Sealing the ducts and air leaks in your home and purchasing a smaller air conditioner may make your home more comfortable and energy efficient and save you problems down the road.
- Do I need to get my ducts sealed even though I just had a new HVAC system installed?
Yes. Getting a new HVAC system without sealing the ducts is similar to buying a new car with flat tires. Your HVAC will not work efficiently if the ducts are leaking and it will cost you money and comfort down the road.
- Why should I air seal before adding insulation?
Air leaks account for a high percentage of heat loss or gain in a home. Conventional insulation is not designed to stop air flow. Air sealing reduces convection currents and prevents air from flowing through the insulation and thermal boundary of your home. This concept is similar to putting a wind breaker on over a thick wool sweater to stop the wind. In addition to reducing convection heat loss, air sealing can help eliminate condensation by preventing moisture from being carried into homes and reaching cold surfaces.
- Can Peak Energy perform Energy Efficient Retrofits for Me?
Yes, you can hire Peak Energy to take care of your energy efficient retrofits. We perform several energy efficient retrofits on our own and use a network of qualified contractors as needed. We are a licensed and insured NC General Contractor and proud to be a Progress Energy Prequalified Contractor and an Energy Star Partner.
- Will a sealed and conditioned crawl space help make my house cooler in the summer?
Yes it can. A sealed and conditioned crawlspace typically has a significantly lower temperature than a vented crawl space. The lower temperature and humidity in the sealed crawl space will help lower the temperature of your home and make it more comfortable during hot summer months.
- What are the benefits of "energy efficiency"?
Improving your homes energy efficiency can lower utility bills, increase property value, improve indoor air quality and make your home a more comfortable place to live.
- What is the difference in a home energy audit and a home energy rating?
A home energy rating typically involves an analysis of construction plans and onsite inspections during the building process and is typically performed on new homes. This rating typically provides a HERS Index score for the new home. A home energy audit or home energy assessment is typically performed on existing homes and is often the first step in making your home more energy efficient.
- Can I get a HERS Index Score on my existing home?
Yes, please contact us for more information.
- How do I know if my electric bill is too high?
This is all relative to your goal. Our goal is to use cost effective retrofits to make homes more energy efficient and lower utility bills as much as possible. There is no limit on how low you can go. When your electric bill gets below $0 the utility companies are required to pay you for the energy you produce. However, this may or may not be cost effective. Never compare your bills with other homes that are not energy efficient. When making comparisons, try to find similar size homes that are at least Energy Star qualified.
- How do I lower my energy bills?
There are several things you can do at home like turn off unused lights and appliances, replace inefficient lights, use a programmable thermostat, reduce plug loads and turn down your hot water heater to save energy and lower bills. See our energy saving tips or visit www.energystar.gov for more tips. If want to significantly lower your bills, we recommend starting with a home energy assessment that will evaluate the measures that can be taken to improve efficiency.
- What is an EEM?
An Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) is a mortgage that credits a home's energy efficiency in the mortgage itself. A home energy rating is typically performed on the home to see if it qualifies. Peak Energy can provide the ratings for these mortgages.
- How do I know if my ducts are properly sealed?
Peak Energy can assist you by performing a duct leakage test. Sometimes you can do a visual inspection of all the joints in your attic or crawl space to see if an attempt was made to seal them. If you see holes or feel air blowing or sucking then your ducts are not properly sealed.
- How do I know which appliances to purchase?
We recommend purchasing energy-efficient appliances that have earned the Energy Star label. Our home performance specialist can provide you with more information on appliance upgrades during a home energy assessment or you can visit www.energystar.gov to learn more.
- Why does my attic get so hot?
The radiant energy from the sun bakes the roof of your home and this radiant energy passes through to your attic insulation and eventually to your home. An attic radiant barrier can block a lot of this radiant energy from entering your home.
- Why is my electric bill higher after I installed an attic exhaust fan?
Has your attic been air sealed? Attic exhaust fans typically can not pull enough outside air through the existing vents to prevent them from creating a negative pressure in your attic. When this happens conditioned air from inside your home is sucked thru leaks in your ceiling and out thru the attic exhaust fan. Not only is the exhaust fan using electricity, your air conditioner is working harder to keep up which costs you more money.
- Can combustion appliances produce carbon monoxide gas inside my home?
Yes they can. It is important to make sure these appliances are installed and operating properly to keep carbon monoxide from entering your home.
- Can CFL light bulbs really save me money?
Yes they can and here is a sample calculation to prove it. Since the current cost of a typical CFL is well below $1/ea we will not take this cost into consideration. Lets assume you have twelve 100 watt incandescent light bulbs needing replaced. You replace them with twelve 26 watt (100 watt equivalent) CFL's. If you use these bulbs an average of 6 hours per day your savings for one year is calculated as follows:
(12(bulbs) x 100watts/bulb x 6hrs/day x 365days/year x 1kw/1000watts x .105$/kwh) -
(12(bulbs) x 26watts/bulb x 6hrs/day x 365days/year x1kw/1000watts x.105$/kwh) = $204.20/year.
The potential savings can be even more if you take into account the amount of heat an incandescent bulb produces and the longer life of a CFL.
- Can my existing home get Energy Star qualified?
Most likely not. Our RESNET certified HERS Rater's can perform a home energy rating on existing homes and provide a HERS Index but this alone does not qualify a home for Energy Star. The Energy Star guidelines require onsite visual inspections of different components of a home including insulation which typically can not be done on existing homes. Homes going through major remodeling and/or retrofits may be able to qualify.
- What are plug loads?
We typically refer to plug loads as plug-in devices, appliances and equipment. These items not only use electricity they produce heat and add to the cost of cooling a home.