Sunday, August 24 2014 12:56 AM EDT2014-08-24 04:56:42 GMT
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With a cold front hitting Knoxville, many people are turning on the heat for the first time this year.
But keeping houses warm this winter may be tougher than anticipated as heat and money are flying out those drafty windows and doors.
An energy audit may help save hundreds of dollars each year.
Kevin Jardet is an energy auditor at Trinity Home Inspections. He scans homes with a thermal imaging camera to look for places where warm air is escaping.
"As you can see in the door frame," Jardet said during a scan of a North Knoxville home. "It's leaking, where the lasers shining, leaking there all the way to the bottom."
The thermal imaging camera reads the temperature, finding places where cold air is seeping in and warm air is seeping out.
"It saves a lot of money on your bills, for the little bit it costs," he said. "Somewhere around $150 to $200, depending on how big your house is, it's a good way to know where your money is going out."
He checks windows, doors and places where insulation may be lacking.
The doorway at the home he scanned reads 51 degrees, but the walls 62 degrees. Jardet explained that anything more than 10 degrees needs to be addressed.
Sandy Campbell has owned her home for more than 30 years and she knew there were several worrisome spots.
"I was thinking there were lots of places where I sort of suspected that we had some energy problems," Campbell said "It was good to get someone to tell us what those were."
Jardet found the insulation was weak in some parts of the 50-year-old house.
"You're losing a ton of energy and your roof is your biggest area," Jardet told Campbell.
But with some fixes, his energy audit found the Campbell's could save quite a bit of money.
"This particular house would save about $10-15, if not more, a month."
As winter approaches, the Campbell's say the fixes are a good investment.
"Some of the things he suggested are very easily done," said Campbell. "Making sure you have the rubber things under the door to keep the draft out, making sure leaks are stopped. Those are easy fixes, so why wouldn't you do that?"
Homeowners do not have to undergo an energy audit. It can be as simple as walking through the house and feeling for drafts around windows and doors.
Jardet suggested a little bit of caulk or a rubber lining around drafty openings can save quite a bit of money.