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What is a Home Energy Audit?

Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit is a full scale assessment of the energy efficiency of an entire house.  Homes produce energy that they don’t use or that isn’t necessary and they lose energy through fireplaces, windows, crawl spaces and more. Often simple fixes are available to increase the home’s energy efficiency or a home energy audit can highlight major problems that might require larger repairs.  Either way, addressing these issues can save big bucks on monthly energy bills and decrease your carbon footprint.

There are two types of home energy audits: Professional and Do-It-Yourself. I recommend starting with a do-it-yourself checklist, like the one I put together here, to identify any major energy efficiency problems in your home.  It is free and should take about half a day, so it is definitely worth the cost. You will check things such as air leaks in windows, doors, attics, and crawl spaces; quality of insulation around the house; and the efficiency of appliances such as the furnace and hot water heater.

Professional home energy audit contractors are able to take your audit further because they have specialized tools and knowledge. They will measure the R-value (resistance to heat flow) of your insulation and windows, use a calibrated blower door to measure air flow and condensation, and do a thorough thermographic (infrared scan) inspection in hard to get to envelopes and cavities. A professional audit concludes with a written report of findings and outline of recommendations.

If you’re ready to become more efficient, check out my list of 40 tips for making your home more energy efficient. Most of these tips are easy and cheap! Also check out my article on how to choose a professional contractor for you home energy audit.