Is a home energy audit worthwhile? let’s find out!
As per Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory data, the average American household spends roughly $2,060 per year on energy expenses. This money is used to heat their houses, power appliances and lighting, and a variety of other electricity-related activities.
The type of fuel consumed and the price at which it is supplied in a person’s location impact the amount of money they spend on energy. You may have little control over the cost of these fuels as a landlord. In any case, if you use less energy, you will save money on your electric bill.
Every month, you are most likely overpaying your electric bill. Your money is most likely flying out the window! Making energy-efficient modifications around the house is one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy bills. But it can be tough to know where to begin.
This is when home energy audits come in handy. A home energy audit can help you understand the overall picture of how your entire house consumes energy. This also allows you to begin the process of changing it into an energy-efficient home.
What happens during a home energy audit?
An energy audit is a home assessment that looks at current energy use and proposes energy efficiency improvements. An energy auditor can examine your home’s energy waste and recommend strategies to save energy and reduce electricity expenses.
Depending on the size of your home, professional energy audits can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours. These skilled auditors employ a variety of techniques to detect problem areas inside your home. After that, they compile a list of suggested actions and activities that you can do to make it more energy-efficient.
Blower door tests, which identify air leaks via doorways, and thermographic inspections using infrared cameras, which discover hot and cold spots in your home, are two of the most common tests done during a home energy audit. Home energy auditors will also do air quality testing to detect carbon monoxide and molds, which may indicate that your home’s ventilation system needs to be updated.
Auditors will also inspect your windows, hot water heater, HVAC system, and search for cracks and air leaks around fireplaces and flooring. Look for auditors who are certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) or the Home Energy Rating System (HERS).
Following the completion of the inspection, the auditor will have a greater knowledge of your home’s energy use. This will allow you to select which energy efficiency modifications will be most advantageous to you.
The scope of the audit, however, determines the energy auditor’s recommendations for your home. Some fast improvements include switching to more efficient lighting, fixing air leaks around doors, and adding weatherstripping. More insulation or replacing windows that are causing drafts are two major options.
How much does an energy audit cost, and how much can you save?
The cost of a professional energy audit varies according to the firm and the size of your house (some companies offer fixed rates, while others will charge more for a larger home). However, do your homework — certain utility companies, NGOs, or governmental groups in your region may provide free energy audits.
Even though it is a paid service, the upfront cost for an energy audit and the accompanying energy efficiency measures will be worth it in the long run when you save money on your power bills. You may save five to thirty percent on your energy expenses by upgrading your home’s energy efficiency.
An audit will cost the average homeowner between $100 and $500, but it might cost up to $1,000 depending on the residence.
Energy audits for homes are frequently billed on a per-square-foot basis, with rates ranging from $0.10 to $0.40 per square foot. As a result, the larger your home, the more expensive an audit will be.
The fee may also vary based on the sort of tests performed by the inspector. A blower test to search for air leaks, for example, might raise the cost of the audit if it is not already included in the initial fee.
Is it worthwhile for you to get a home energy audit?
For most households, a DIY home energy assessment should be sufficient. Without having to pay for an assessment, you may find and implement efficiency measures such as replacing light bulbs or weather-stripping doors to reduce energy losses on your own.
However, if you have an older house, you might think about hiring an expert. Older homes have substantially higher energy losses due to factors like draughts and are more likely to have mold and air quality concerns than modern houses. If this is the situation for you, it may be wise to get a specialist to conduct testing.
You might also want to think about hiring a professional home energy inspector after you acquire a house as part of your pre-planned home upgrades. This way, you can spot any concerns with air leaks, the HVAC system, or air quality issues straight away and incorporate them into any work you had planned to make before moving in.
You will save energy and money whether you DIY or hire a professional auditor. In addition, you will be making your house a safer and healthier environment.
Consider adding home solar panels if you want to lower your utility expenses even more. Solar panels may fully eliminate your electricity expenses while also providing sustainable energy for your house. That can’t get much better than that!