What is a Home Energy Audit?
A home energy audit is a way to assess how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy and determine how to make your home more energy efficient. It’s also one of the most effective steps homeowners can take in reducing their monthly energy bill. During an audit, a home energy auditor will go into every room in your home to perform tests to assess your home’s energy usage and uncover areas where your home is not functioning as efficiently as it could be. Audit findings include drafty doors and windows, inadequate attic insulation or indoor air quality concerns.
Why Does Your Home Need a Home Energy Audit?
If your home is older, drafty and not able to keep up with your family’s comfort needs, it might be the right time for a home energy audit. The audit results will provide a roadmap to making your home more comfortable and energy efficient. If you’ve noticed an increase in energy bills, a home energy audit can help uncover the underlying causes of the increase. Some of the areas of potential improvement include: increased energy efficiency, reduced energy usage, improved indoor air quality, consistent interior temperatures, reduced interior drafts, & improved humidity control & ventilation.
When Should Your Home Get a Home Energy Audit?
Any time is a good time to take the first step and schedule a home energy audit, as it will identify the most effective home energy improvements to make your home more comfortable year-round. The audit findings should help keep your home cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter.
To get the most out of your home energy audit, it’s important to be prepared. Following the checklist below will ensure a useful and effective audit:
- Have copies or a summary of your home’s annual energy bills
- Make a list of any existing problems such as condensation
- Note any broken or defective windows and doors
- List any drafty areas that are either too hot or too cold
- Remove any obstructions around the water heater(s), air conditioner(s) and furnace(s)
- Move clutter from around access points to your attic, basement and crawl space to ensure all areas of your home are accessible
On the day of the home energy audit:
- Close fireplace dampers, fireplace doors and wood stove air intakes
- Close all windows and exterior doors
What to Expect During a Home Energy Audit:
- The audit will begin with a homeowner interview to will determine areas of concern and review the past year’s utility bills. This will give the auditor context for the energy audit and ensure they don’t miss any high-priority areas in the home.
- The auditor will examine the home’s exterior and interior, provide a health and safety inspection, assess the electrical system and inspect combustion appliances.
- The auditor will then analyze the homeowner’s behavior, including when people are home, average thermostat settings, how many people live in the home and which rooms are used most and least frequently.
- The auditor may use equipment to detect sources of energy use, such as blower doors, infrared cameras, furnace efficiency meters and surface thermometers.
- The energy audit will take two to four hours, depending on the size of the home.
- The audit will conclude with a report that contains analysis of findings and customized home energy report.
- Based on the findings, the auditor may recommend improvements to make your home healthier, more comfortable and more energy efficient.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
There are many benefits of having a home energy audit, including lower energy bills, improved air quality and fewer indoor drafts. Plus, because we participate in Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®, customers pay only $100* for a comprehensive home energy audit. If you think an energy audit is right for you, contact us today to schedule your energy audit. Or, learn more about program benefits and available incentives.
*$325 value. Includes one heating and cooling system; infrared camera costs extra.