Are you literally throwing money away?
A professional Home Energy Audit may help you save money.
October 24, 2013 - Author: Jinnifer P. Ortquist, Michigan State University Extension
With the cooler temperatures and falling leaves, there is no doubt that the fall season has arrived. This is the time of year that many of us seek to ward off the cold temperatures with warm socks and sweaters. However, there are additional things that homeowners can do to stay warm and save money such as a Professional Home Energy Audit. A professional home energy audit identifies where you are losing energy and what you can do to save money.
How do I find a Home Energy Auditor? To find a professional energy assessment or auditing company, Michigan State University Extension recommends that you try the following: telephone directory under the heading “energy”; your electric or gas company may provide this service or could recommend companies that do; the Residential Energy Services Network can recommend certified energy raters and auditors; and your state or local government energy or weatherization office. It is important to note that some utility companies offer free or discounted home energy audits so contact yours to see if this is available in your area.
How do I choose a Home Energy Auditor? Seek references of potential auditing companies and check them, contact the Better Business Bureau to inquire if there are any complaints against the companies you are considering. Make sure the company you choose uses a calibrated blower door and if they do not conduct a thermographic inspection, hire another company to perform one.
How should I prepare for the Home Energy Audit? Make a list of any concerns that you have identified such as a drafty room, have copies or a summary of the home’s annual energy bills, and be prepared to answer questions such as:
- How many people live in the home?
- Is anyone home during the day?
- Is every room used?
- What temperature is the thermostat set during the different seasons?
What will happen during the Home Energy Audit? The auditor will assess the exterior and interior of the home. They will review your energy bills and ask the home owner questions about energy use. Many auditors will use equipment such as the blower door test, a thermographic scan and in rare cases a PFT air infiltration measurement. These tools help auditors identify where energy is being wasted.
What is the benefit of a Professional Home Energy Audit? Auditors can identify where your home is losing energy and make suggestions on how to save money. Some homeowners have even saved 5 - 30 percent on their energy bills when they have made upgrades based upon recommendations from a profession energy audit. For additional information on this topic visit the U.S. Department of Energy.