Why You Should Get a Home Energy Audit
Performing a home energy audit is the first step toward cutting your utility costs and making your house more comfortable all year long. Drafty rooms and high utility bills are signs that your home could benefit from some much needed, energy-efficient upgrades. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for more than half of the average home’s utility costs.
What are home energy audits?
Energy audits, or energy assessments, are examinations of a building’s exterior, construction, or envelope, in addition the systems within the home. Audits measure the amount of energy a property uses and identify why and where energy is being lost. Frequent causes of energy loss are leaky windows, a poorly sealed attic, ductwork tears, and invisible cracks.
What does a home energy audit consist of?
Professional auditors rely on various tools, the most common being blower door tests and thermographic inspections. Although these tests take three to four hours to complete, they help energy auditors discover exactly where there’s air infiltration or loss. It can also pinpoint hidden, hard-to-reach spots where insulation is lacking or failing.
An auditor uses the test results, along with other data about your heating and cooling habits and utility costs, to identify the home improvement projects that will boost a home’s efficiency.
What are the benefits of getting a home energy audit?
By making upgrades following a home energy assessment, homeowners can save between 5% and 30% on energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. And repairs aren’t always big, high-ticket items. For example, some upgrades, such as air sealing and insulation, can be completed using a DIY approach.
How much do home energy audits cost?
The cost of a professional home energy audit can vary based on size and location, but it’s often possible to get free or low-cost audits through utility and government rebate programs such as MassSave. You can also find additional incentives through the national Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
How do I get ready for a home energy audit?
List all problem areas in each room of your home, like drafty or hot spaces, and compile copies of your utility bills from the past 12-24 months. Then, review the usage patterns over the last year or so to fully understand your seasonal utility trends. You can also add more information about your metering habits, including:
• The number of residents living in the house and whether people are home during the day
• Average thermostat settings for summer and winter, during the daytime and evenings
• Unused rooms like the attic, basement, or spare bedroom
Who does home energy audits?
Ask around for a professional home energy auditor. It’s often possible to get free or low-cost audits through utility and government rebate programs such as MassSave. You can find additional incentives through the national Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. For auditors and energy experts, visit:
• Building Performance Institute
• Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
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