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Creating a greener household is a hot topic in home improvement right now. Not only is it smart for your wallet, but it also benefits the planet. There are many steps you can take to do this in your home such as recycling more or turning off the lights when you leave the room. But, what if you took a bigger step towards a green home?
A home energy audit can tell you how efficient your home currently is and how you can improve. Think of it as a home check-up to see how each part of your home is working. Not only will you learn how you can update to save money, but you can see how you can help the earth. Here’s why you should consider getting a home energy audit.
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What Is A Home Energy Audit?
While you may check to see what’s working in your home, a home energy auditor will inspect it. They can look to see what parts are functioning at their best and what might be impacting the comfort of your home negatively. They will test your home systems and features to see where you can upgrade, to save you money. Here’s what they will test:
- Windows and doors to see if there are any leaks
- HVAC system for the age of equipment and if it’s working properly
- Insulation throughout the home and if it’s effective
- If there are any moisture-related issues in the home
- Gas lines to ensure it’s not leaking
- Appliances for electrical usage
It is possible to conduct a DIY home energy audit and you should consider inspecting your house on a routine basis. However, we recommend having a professional examine your home. They have the proper tools and knowledge to know what to look for. They are trained to spot problems and suggest solutions.
Why Do You Need One?
According to the Department of Energy, making the right home upgrades can help you save between 5% and 30% on your utility bills. For many homeowners, this is reason enough to have the necessary tests performed. Old appliances and faulty systems can increase your bills in ways you may not even realize. Over time, you’ll see the savings and know you’re doing the best you can to help save the earth’s resources.
Additionally, a home energy auditor can help recommend next steps and how you can create a more efficient home.
How To Prepare For Your Home Energy Audit
To get the best results from your home energy audit, you should prepare for your visit. Gather your utility bills from at least the last six months and if possible, the last year, to show to your auditor. If there’s a specific reason you’re contacting the auditor, such as an insulation issue or a drafty room, write them down and address them. The auditor will need to have access to all rooms of the house during the inspection, so be sure to have the spaces ready for entry.
What Does A Home Energy Audit Cost?
Depending on the depth of the home energy audit, your cost of hiring a professional to conduct the inspection can vary. At the maximum, a thorough test should cost around $1,300. The average cost for a home energy audit is $383, with most homeowner spending between $262 and $357.
How You Can Improve
Once the test is completed, the auditor will explain the results and problem areas. If you live in an older home, this could mean an upgrade for your systems. Here are a few items they might mention after the test:
With the latest innovations in home automation, you might find that this is the right time to invest. Many electric companies offer incentives for smart thermostats, that monitor your temperature habits and adjust accordingly when you’re away. This can help save you money over time.
Windows & Doors
If they found that your older windows or doors are creating draft, they may offer the suggestion to have them replaced or resealed. Energy Star certified windows and doors are focused on keeping comfortable air in your home, without creating a draft. It could be a smart option for your home if you need to replace your windows and doors.
One large appliance could be the culprit of a higher energy bill. Your home auditor will find it and make a recommendation to replace. You can see a dramatic difference in long-term costs simply by investing in a new, energy-efficient appliance. The average cost to install a new appliance is $185, with most homeowners spending between $129 and $185.
A home energy inspector might find that your insulation in your home does not meet recommended levels, especially if it’s an older home. Installing new insulation will help improve the energy retained in your home, meaning your HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable.
Whether you’re looking to save money or improve the way your household uses resources, a home energy audit is a helpful way to discover and prioritize improvements that need to be made. They will give you all the details you need to create an energy-efficient home.
Looking for more green home improvement ideas? Read Eco-Friendly Home Remodeling Ideas.