Want to make home efficiency upgrades but don’t know where to start? A home energy audit could help you identify solutions that could save you 5%–30% on your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
A home energy audit can pinpoint where your home is losing energy and what you can do to save money. An auditor will also help find health and safety issues in your home.
Certified home energy auditors should go through the following steps in a home energy audit, according to the DOE.
- Analyze the past year’s bills to determine base energy consumption.
- Interview you, the homeowner, to learn about problems and how the home operates.
- Explain the audit process.
- Conduct an inspection of the home’s exterior.
- Do a health and safety inspection.
- Conduct an inspection of the home’s interior.
- Assess electrical system safety concerns.
- Inspect combustion appliances.
- Perform a blower door test and/or thermographic scan to detect sources of energy loss.
- Analyze findings and create a comprehensive home energy report to show which upgrades are best for your home and your potential energy savings.
The DOE offers some common recommendations after a home energy audit:
Conduct whole-home air sealing to reduce air leakage and drafts.
Add insulation to your home’s attic, foundation or walls to prevent heat loss.
Seal and insulate ducts in unconditioned spaces.
Remove or repair any parts of the home with internal moisture or mold to improve air quality and reduce deterioration.
Improve the efficiency of heating, cooling and hot water equipment.
Install home ventilation, smart thermostats, LEDs, smart power strips, Energy Star-certified appliances and other efficient technologies that improve home performance.
If having an auditor come to your home isn’t for you, there are some great online options that can give you valuable insight into improving your home’s energy efficiency. Check out energy.gov, energystar.gov and togetherwesave.com.
The right combination of improvements to your home will depend on the age and quality of current equipment, the local climate, and your home energy goals.