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Five Things You Didn’t Know About Energy Audits

May 30, 2014

As a homeowner, you may already know that home energy audits help lower your utility bills and improve home comfort, but they provide even more benefits than you might think. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about energy audits:

1. There are two types energy audits:

  •  Home Energy Survey
    • A visual inspection not including the use of diagnostic testing equipment.
    • Assesses the general energy performance of an existing home including:
      • Building envelope features (windows, doors, insulation, ducts) and ages.
      • Heating, cooling and ventilation equipment types, characteristics and ages.
      • Appliance and lighting characteristics.
      • Comfort complaints.
      • Visible moisture issues.
      • Visible health and safety issues.
    • A report of the complete audit is provided, including basic recommendations for improving the home’s energy efficiency, as well as low-cost, do-it-yourself tasks.
    • Takes approximately one hour to complete.
  • General Energy Audit
    • Collects more detailed information about the home’s energy usage, as well as a more thorough financial analysis of its energy costs.
    • Includes diagnostic testing using specialized equipment to determine:
      • The location and number of air leaks in the building envelope.
      • How much leakage is occurring from HVAC distribution ducts.
      • The effectiveness of the insulation inside walls and ceilings.
      • If there are any existing or potential combustion safety issues.
      • Includes a detailed report providing suitable retrofit recommendations and specifications.
    • Takes 3-4 hours to complete, depending on the size of your home.

2. Depending on the type of home energy audit you get, you can expect to pay $300 to $800 for one.

3. A home energy audit can help increase your home’s resale value and marketability.

  • A home’s market value increases by $20 for every $1 decrease in annual energy costs.
  • Decreasing your energy costs by $300 per year increases the value of your home by $6,000.

4. You can defray the costs of many energy improvements recommended by an energy audit through government energy tax credits and incentives.

5. You can expect a good return on investment when you opt for energy-saving improvements to your home, around 16% after taking into account the money spent making those improvements. And your ROI continues to increase as energy prices rise, which means the value of your investment grows accordingly.

To schedule a home energy audit, contact your local certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you’re working with a recognized industry professional.