Homeowners know that for water leaks to call a plumber and for flickering lights they should call an electrician – but who should they call if they have high energy bills, heating or cooling insufficiencies, or just general living space comfort issues?
Or who should a homeowner call when they realize that their energy bills are high compared to their neighbors and friends and the national average!
It may be time to pick up your phone and dial up the modern age’s home energy evaluation professional, the energy auditor, and start down the pathway to living a greener lifestyle every day in the comfort of your home!
An energy audit is a complete building energy evaluation designed to identify and prioritize which improvements are the best return for your money for either your home or business based on your comfort concerns and energy-saving goals. Typically about 30% of your energy consumption goes to heating your home and another 20% to cooling it.
Here’s a sample Home Energy Audit Report from our Green Blizzard worldwide headquarters.
Home energy audit reports typically include diagnostic testing to determine the overall air leakage of your home and the safety and efficiency of your combustion appliances. It also involves a visual inspection of your attic, basement, crawl spaces, windows, doors, lighting, and appliances, and may include an infrared camera scan of your walls and ceilings to discover otherwise undetectable air leaks and insulation levels.
Guaranteed, you will learn a lot about how to green your living space just from the hour or so that you invest in having the audit conducted at your home.
The connotation of the word “audit” is negative to some folks, but rest assured, this energy audit is super useful. It produces a detailed report of your home’s energy situation as well as a list of proposed improvements. The improvements are sometimes suggested based on an energy model of your home, so an actual energy modeling software is thinking of what upgrades are most cost-effective for your home rather than a sales person who might just want to sell you more.
Moreover, the audit educates the homeowner by providing pertinent information about the home’s efficiency and healthy & safety, while also generating a straightforward list of savvy steps that will bring the home’s operating performance to the next level.
Let’s delve into some possible results of an audit. Mrs. Jones, a cheery homeowner with a knack for living green, has an energy audit and reviews the recommended improvements with her auditor. She decides to spend $1,500 on air sealing seams and cracks in their 1,000 square foot attic floor and upgrading about 15 incandescent lights to LEDs (approximate cost). You may be thinking, “Wow, $1,500 for just two things!?”, but bear with me. Based on return-on-investment numbers generated from energy modeling software I’ve used professionally, you could expect to save around $250 a year. This is a 17% return-on-investment, beating most stocks, and your savings will increase each year because energy rates go up most years. This upgrade will also make your home more comfortable while paying for itself in about six years! Sign me up.
Recap of energy tidbits by NOVA Southwestern University
Now that you better understand the attractive financial returns of an upfront investment in future home energy savings, it is time to call in an expert and learn more about how to green your living space from an energy consumption perspective. Nothing like the present to take this important step.