Many people are interested in living a greener lifestyle, but they aren’t sure what steps they should take to improve the energy efficiency of their home. There are countless changes you can make to increase your home’s energy efficiency. But first, it’s important to understand how your home consumes energy.
The only way to identify energy saving opportunities is to work with an energy auditor to learn about how your home currently uses energy. Here’s what you need to know if you are considering hiring an energy auditor:
What Does An Energy Auditor Do?
An energy auditor is a professional who is trained to conduct a home energy audit, which is an assessment of how your home uses energy. If you choose to hire an energy auditor, here’s what you should expect during the assessment:
- Meet with the auditor before the assessment begins. Tell the auditor about your lifestyle and any issues you are experiencing that could be related to how your home consumes energy. For example, if your air conditioner takes a long time to cool down your home, now is the time to mention it.
- Give the auditor copies of your energy bills. The auditor will review your utility bills to see how much you currently spend on energy and whether your energy usage is increasing or decreasing.
- Allow the auditor to inspect your home. The auditor will inspect the exterior, interior, heating and cooling system, roof, and other areas of your home. The auditor may also perform certain tests to see how your home uses energy. Thermographic scans, blower tests, and other assessments can help the auditor identify water leaks, poor ventilation, and other issues that affect your home’s energy efficiency.
- Discuss the results. After analyzing the results of the inspection, the auditor will help you understand what steps you need to take to save energy in your home.
What Are Energy Audits Important?
Investing in a home energy audit is something that every homeowner should consider. There are a number of benefits to conducting an energy audit, including:
- Save energy. The results of an energy audit will help you understand what steps you need to take to reduce your home’s energy consumption. Taking these steps will save energy, which will reduce your carbon footprint and protect the planet.
- Lower monthly utility bills. The more energy you use, the higher your utility bills will climb. By reducing your home’s energy consumption, you can drastically lower your monthly utility bills.
- Create a comfortable, healthy living environment. Performing an energy audit will help you identify issues such as drafty rooms and mold and mildew growth. Addressing these issues will make your home more comfortable to live in and protect your family’s health.
- Increase the resale value of your home. Studies have shown that making certain energy efficient upgrades can actually increase the value of your home. Even if you aren’t planning on selling soon, making these upgrades now could benefit you in the future.
These are some of the many rewards you can reap simply by conducting a home energy audit.
How Much Does An Energy Auditor Cost?
The cost of a professional energy audit will vary depending on several factors, including:
- Size of your home
- Services performed
- Available rebates
The average cost of a professional energy audit is $419. However, extensive energy audits that involve manual and mechanical testing can cost upwards of $1500.
It’s best to estimate the cost of hiring a professional energy auditor using the average rate per square foot. The average rate is between $0.08 to 0.12 per square foot for simple assessments and $0.12 to $0.50 per square foot for more extensive assessments.
Use these rates to get a better idea of how much it may cost to hire a professional to conduct an energy audit of your home.
How to Conduct A Free Energy Audit
Many people who are interested in improving their home’s energy efficiency aren’t willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional energy audit. If you’re in this situation, it’s important to understand that this is not the only option available.
You can conduct a home energy audit for free by downloading the HomeSelfe app on your smartphone or tablet. The app will ask you a series of simple questions to assess how your home uses energy. Some examples of the questions may include:
- What temperature is your thermostat set on?
- Do you currently have low flow faucets / shower heads?
- How old is your refrigerator?
The app will analyze the answers to these questions and come up with a list of personalized recommendations on how to improve the energy efficiency in your home. It will also tell you how much you can potentially save by completing each item on this customized list. The entire process—from answering the questions to reviewing the recommendations—can be completed in as little as five minutes. Take the first step toward reaching your energy efficiency goals by downloading the HomeSelfe app today!