The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the suggestions that professional energy upgrades can offer should save homeowners from five to thirty percent on their home energy costs. For many, investing a few hundred dollars in an energy auditor’s expertise and equipment is an investment to consider. Not only will it payoff in reduced fuel bills, studies have shown that energy improvements also help improve home market values.
Can you conduct your own assessment? While the DOE says that professional audits are better because the auditor will have the right training and equipment, it is also possible to uncover many problems with a DIY home energy audit. They even provide instructions for a DIY home energy audit here.
Benefits of Professional Energy Audits
A professional energy auditor will examine each room of your home, your energy system, and even your past utility bills to uncover flaws in the way that energy gets used. This professional uses high-tech equipment to perform blower tests and in some cases, a themographic scan. By analyzing available information, the auditor can produce a report that describes problems and suggests solutions.
You don’t have to take any or all of the auditor’s suggestions if you don’t chose to. In fact, your next step may be to price upgrades to determine which ones make the most financial sense. This determination will include both pricing upgrades and figuring how much money they can save in the short term and long run.
Of course, the main benefit of an energy audit might be the suggestions to improve energy efficiency and reduce power bills. However, other benefits include cleaner indoor air and improved comfort. Save money, reduce hot and cold spots in a house, and can even improve health.
How to Find Quality Energy Auditors in Your Town
Of course, the quality of home energy assessments might vary by the company or organization that offers them. Prices can also vary quite a bit. It’s a good idea to shop around for a quality, local home energy auditor.
These are some tips to find good energy auditors where you live:
- Utility Companies: Some energy companies provide energy auditing services that might be convenient. Your local energy company is likely to be familiar with your type of home and energy use.
- Government agencies: State and local energy departments may have lists of local companies that have been approved to perform home energy audits.
- Online: The Residential Energy Services Network maintains a handy, zip code search for approved energy auditors. RESNET is a non-profit and independent agency that was founded with a mission to help homeowners save money on their utility costs.
These audits usually are not typically free, but some utility companies might offer them as a service to customers. However, a investment of $300 could be a frugal choice for homeowners with high utility bills. If the suggestions can reduce a $3,600 yearly heating, cooling, and lighting cost by 30 percent, the homeowner might earn back their investment in three or four months and then just enjoy savings, cleaner air, and more comfort.