Conserving energy at home is a great idea for many reasons. It cuts down on energy costs, and because most of the energy that we use comes from fossil fuels, using less is beneficial for the environment, too. A professional energy audit from Green ID will identify a home’s vulnerabilities for only $99, and experts say that whether an audit makes financial sense depends on how energy savvy you are.
In many ways, saving energy can be pretty simple. You can find dozens of different ways to conserve –such as turning up your thermostat in the summer or switching to more efficient light bulbs. But, most homes are so inefficient that even after you’ve done all of the easy home improvements, there are still dozens of ways to save money and energy.
Unfortunately, the improvements that save you the most energy over time tend to be expensive. Before you spend hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars on home improvements, such as buying a new furnace, installing insulation, or putting in new windows, it’s nice to know how much energy they’ll actually save. Just as important, you’ll want to know how long these home energy upgrades will take to pay for themselves and start saving you money.
Homeowners can check for infiltrations around windows, doors, and electric outlets, and can buy kits from home improvement stores to fill those areas. However, some things cannot be seen without specialized tools.
It is important to remember that deficiencies are not only present in older homes. In fact, new homes often have significant energy problems, largely due to the fact that new houses typically aren’t as solidly constructed as older houses. New homes can leak more air, causing health and comfort problems, and the quality of building components can be poor. Insulation is often very sloppily installed or in some cases, may be missing entirely.
With energy prices rising, homeowners are looking for ways to save money on their utility bills. Many homeowners will take measures on their own like caulking windows, adding insulation, and filling in leaky gaps. However, energy audits can identify energy leaks that are not so obvious or easy to find. Many energy auditing companies claim that identifying and fixing these hidden problems can not only save the homeowner up to 30% on their heating and cooling cots each year, but also on the potential expense of fixing things that don’t solve the problem.
Energy audits take all the guess work out of it. Many customers have gone down the road of trying to make their home more energy efficient by spending money on new windows, heating, and AC equipment, but oftentimes, these upgrades do not solve the problems and result in a reduced energy bill. A home energy audit can be compared to doing a diagnostic before fixing a car: you wouldn’t buy the parts first.
Not all home energy auditors are created equally. Energy Star recommends making sure an auditor engages in certain tasks and uses approved tools during the audit, including a blower door, an infrared camera, and a duct blower. A blower door is a fan that mounts in the doorframe and pressurizes and depressurizes the home to measure the amount of air leakage. A duct blower works similar to a blower door, but is attached to the duct system. Infrared cameras show surface heat variations and is used to detect heat losses an air leakages in walls. Though this sounds complicated, the good news is that Green ID does perform all three of these tests, and is approved by Energy Star, and works closely with SRP and APS as part of their energy saving programs. This means that using Green ID as your home energy auditor ensures that you are getting a comprehensive and professional audit. At Green ID, we do it the right way. All of our auditors are BPI certified and have several years of experience. And, these three tests are only a few of 41 different tests that Green ID uses when performing a home energy audit.
What to expect at a home energy audit
Typically, a home energy audit takes two to three hours, depending on the size of the home. Before the audit, our auditors will do an interview with the homeowner to get the history of the home and any problems or areas of concern. Once the audit is complete, the homeowner gets a detailed report identifying recommendations on what should be fixed or improved in the home and in what order these upgrades should occur in. This follow up will also outline any rebates available for the recommended upgrades. The homeowner has the option to have Green ID fix the issues if they choose to.
The Department of Energy recommends making a list of any problems and gathering copies or a summary of the home’s annual energy bills before an audit to help auditors establish what to look for during the inspection.
Rebates and Tax Credits
In many cases, you can get money for specific energy improvements in the form of government rebates or tax credits. SRP and APS both have local rebates available for energy upgrades.
Call Green ID today at (602) 926-1650 to find out more about how you can save, and to schedule your home energy audit!