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Just as an auditor helps to eliminate business inefficiencies, a home energy auditor, by evaluating the rooms of your house and your past utility bills, makes sure that your home is as energy efficient as possible. In this buying guide you'll learn more about a home energy assessment, including what's involved and how much the service costs.
An Overview of Home Energy Audits
While there are a number of simple, do-it-yourself steps, such as updating your light bulbs, caulking around windows and doors, and unplugging unused appliances, that can improve home energy efficiency, a certified energy auditor is uniquely qualified to identify problem areas and make specific recommendations.
Some of the more basic checks performed by a professional energy auditor include evaluating your furnace, air conditioning, insulation, appliances, lighting, windows and doors, and attic. At first blush, this may seem like something you could do yourself…until you consider that a professional uses highly sophisticated equipment. Through such techniques as a blower door test, thermographic scan, and the PFT air infiltration measurement, an energy audit pro not only finds the most egregious energy-wasting culprits, but advises you on how to remedy them.
The Benefits of a Home Energy Evaluation
Reasons to undergo a home energy audit include the following:
- Improve Energy Efficiency: If Going Green is a priority for you, then paying for a professional energy audit is an investment in sustainable living. If your home, like more than half of the homes in America, was constructed prior to 1980, when energy efficiency was not a concern, it's probably full of drafts and under-insulated. An auditor can help you shore up such deficiencies and slash your energy use (and by extension your carbon footprint).
- Save Money: Saving money, though perhaps not as noble as saving the planet, is nonetheless an important consideration for almost every homeowner. By reducing your energy bills up to 30 percent annually, it's possible to save $500 to $1,000 per year on heating and cooling costs. And as energy prices rise, your savings will only increase.
- Prevent Compound Problems: Structural problems with your home can not only lead to higher energy bills, but can also pose additional health and safety problems. For example, if your home is poorly ventilated, this could cause mold and mildew growth that, eventually, will pose issues and necessitate a costly cleanup. Nip structural problems in the bud with a professional home energy audit.
Home Energy Audit Average Costs
The actual cost of a home energy audit depends on the local market, the experience of the professional, the services performed, and other factors.
- A home energy assessment for a 2,000 square foot home should cost $300 to $600, but could cost as much as $700 to $1,500 for larger homes and/or pricier areas.
- In some cases, you may be able to receive a free or discounted energy evaluation from your utility company. Contact them to find out more.
- Before the auditor makes a house call, be sure to have a list of suspected problems as well as copies of your energy bills. You will also be asked some basic questions, such as your average thermostat settings and the number of home residents.