It is fair to say that arranging a home energy audit is hardly one of the most exciting things you can do with your day, but when you look at the savings you can bank as a result, it is definitely worth stifling the yawns and getting on with it.
When you get a professional energy assessment and audit of your home, you will get the opportunity to see in great detail exactly what needs to be done and where the savings and improvements can be made to cut your energy bills and improve your home’s energy efficiency rating.
Preparing for the assessment
Once you have made that call and arranged for a home energy audit, there are a few things you need to do in order to prepare for their visit.
It would be a good idea to make a list of any existing problems that you know about such as places where condensation is an issue and rooms that feel draftier than others.
Make sure you have copies of the energy bills you have received over the last year or more, as the auditor will want to take a look at these and if you already use someone like Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning to perform maintenance, have those bills to hand so that the assessor can see what you have been doing to keep things working as efficiently as possible.
A lot of home energy audits will follow a fairly basic format of questions and gathering of information, and it is the answers to these questions that help to determine the plan of action and identify where potential savings and improvements can be made.
The auditor will examine the outside of your property and take a note of its size and how many windows and doors you have, which will impact on your energy use. They will also want to know things like whether the property is occupied during the day, how many people live there, whether you use every room available and what you set your thermostat to in summer and winter months.
One the auditor has been given answers to some relevant questions about how you uses your house and what your energy habits are, they will carry out a detailed assessment of your home’s current energy performance and capabilities.
They will take a look at your utility bills to see whether you are spending more or less than the average for your type of property. The auditor will also complete thorough checks to identify any signs of window or door leaks.
The audit will also include an assessment of the quality and integrity of the insulation already present in your home and in particular, take a look at what levels of heat loss are occurring through the attic and basement.
You can also expect the auditor to examine the age and efficiency of your heating system and water heaters, as well as other energy-intensive appliances in order to evaluate their current efficiency levels.
The report you receive should highlight where changes and improvements in your energy efficiency can be made.
When you consider that a home energy audit is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing your energy bills on a regular basis, you will probably be glad you made the effort to make that call.
Anthony M. Belanger is a home energy auditor. He likes to share his insights on using energy efficiently. His articles appear mainly on home improvement and lifestyle sites.