With the undeniable impact of climate change on the planet, we are now hearing more than ever about the importance of “green living.” Those who embrace green living are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint in a variety of ways, one of which is implementing smart and renewable-based energy consumption. If you have ever been curious about your home’s energy use and would like to be a part of the green living movement, Spring may be an ideal time to invest in a professional home energy audit. Not only will reduced energy usage benefit the planet, but it can also save you money. According to the Department of Energy, you can save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill by making efficiency upgrades recommended by your energy auditor!
A professional home energy auditor will provide you with specific recommendations to improve the efficiency of your home. During a professional energy audit, the auditor should do a room-by-room inspection of your home, as well as examine past utility bills to track home performance. He will utilize a variety of techniques and equipment to thoroughly examine your home, including the crawl space and attic, to determine the general state of your energy efficiency, as well as any safety issues you may have.
Specific tests included in a thorough energy audit will include:
- A blower door test. This test will enable the auditor to determine how leaky your home is, as well as the origin of the leaks.
- Infrared photos. The auditor will take photos of your home’s interior with an infrared camera to determine specific problem areas in your home.
- A duct leakage test. This test will enable the auditor to obtain a precise value of leakage, so that he will be able to rank this problem in the suggested list of repairs.
- Combustion appliances. The auditor should check combustion appliances, such as gas water heaters, gas ranges and ovens, etc. for draft and potentially harmful carbon monoxide.
If you are interested in having a professional home energy audit performed, you should contact your utility company to see if they offer free or discounted energy audits to their customers. If not, you can find a home energy auditor in North Carolina by visiting Energy Star. Before contracting with any company, be sure to collect several references, and call them to find out if they were satisfied with the work performed. You should also contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been filed against the company.
The cost of a professional energy audit typically ranges from $300-$500, but some are subsidized by local governments or utilities. Some energy auditors will also offer a discount if you hire them to make the recommended improvements to your home.
To find out more about retrofitting an existing home or about green home builders in the area, contact Real Estate Experts at 919-883-9641, ext. 2 or email us at [email protected].