Home Energy Audits

Home Energy Audits

With rising utility cost to heat or cool a home many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce these types of cost.

A fast growing field is home energy auditing. Not a new field but new in the area of residential homes. And in most cases unregulated. 

With high tech tools (such as infrared cameras) an inspector will come to your home and inspect and suggest the fixing of various energy hogs throughout one’s home.

Some States offer its residence upward to $ 1,000 if they make improvements to lower energy cost. In fact recently the State of Massachusetts Senate passed a bill requiring that home sellers provide prospective buyers with an audit scoring of the home’s efficiency.

But today most people simply want to know whether it is worthwhile to find the various leaks, look at appliance efficiency, and have healthy air in the home.

Antique Wood Stove Some problems can be resolved without an inspection. If your home has a furnace that is 30 to 75 years old you recognize there could be a problem. The furnace efficiency is kaput and a newer one would be more efficient. However the cost of replacing the heater or furnace may be an insurmountable task and the payback may not yield the return on replacement. 

If it is decided to get an energy audit, expect to pay between $ 300 to $ 700 or more. Therefore one’s energy consumption needs to have jumped significantly over a short period of time or was extremely high from the start of occupying the home to justify the cost of finding out what has to be done to decrease costs overall.

Upon completion of an energy audit one will receive a 15-50 page report of problems that exist inside and outside of the home. It will include recommended fixes, such as replacing the heater/air conditioner/appliances, as an example and will give a ballpark figure of what it will cost to make the fixes.

True some things can be done by the homeowner. But when windows need to be replaced, or a separation between ceiling and walls needs fixing, or exterior electrical outlets need to be replaced then one needs a professional to do these things and the homeowner is looking at some significant cost.

Home Inspection Is the home energy audit worth the price?

Yes. It would be good to know where the problems are and certainly one could, if they wish, create a plan of attack to resolve the most critical. So some action to reduce energy cost may result in some good savings for the homeowner which may warrant the expenditure. 

But one has to be careful to make sure that the problem being resolved is the real problem. If one puts insulation in the attic and it is the roof that needs to be replaced, the savings, if any, will be extremely small. 

It is a case by case situation and the bottom line is money and the pay back for implementing the required changes.

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