Home energy audits are a great way to identify areas where your home's energy usage is less efficient than it could be. By locating trouble spots in your home's energy profile, you can save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. This makes an energy assessment a rare example of something you can do that is both good for the planet and good for your wallet. Since it is easy to find information on the most common areas where your home may be using too much energy, it can be tempting to try to perform this evaluation on your own. A do-it-yourself audit might save you a few bucks, but there are compelling reasons for why you should trust this job to a professional.
Visual Inspections Aren't Always Enough
If you're performing an assessment yourself, it's likely that you're really just performing a visual inspection. It's easy to identify obvious trouble spots such as old incandescent light bulbs, but what about other areas where your lighting may be costing you money? Too few switches in a large, open area may force you to use more lights than you would if more switches were available. You may also be using bulbs with too much output for the area that they are covering and there are likely locations where the installation of dimmer switches would allow you to save significant money. A professional will help you to identify these areas so you can come up with a solid and cost-effective plan to save energy.
You May Not Know What to Look For
Even for simple visual inspections, there are details that only experienced energy professionals are likely to notice. Much of this involves spotting the signs and symptoms of building envelope failures. Your home's envelope is the separation between the inside and outside worlds, and it is by far the most important component of your home's energy efficiency. A building envelope that is improperly sealed or failing with leak climate-controlled air to the outside environment, forcing your HVAC system to work harder and longer to keep you comfortable. Subtle signs such as the age of certain materials or moisture in places that it should not be can be important clues for energy assessment technicians. As an amateur, these important signs are far too easy to miss.
Savings May Be Available
Many professional audit services offer savings and rebates on the installation of energy-efficient equipment if you may use of their services. This means that if problems are identified, you may be able to gain a significant discount on having those problems repaired. This can be a great way to save a few bucks on important home renovations such as new windows or better insulation. Some states even provide tax breaks or other incentives for homeowners that complete energy audits, and it is worthwhile to check with your local utility company to see if an energy assessment can save you some money on your bill.
Of course, the most important reason to have this job performed by a professional is simply that it pays to have it done right the first time. Attacking your energy efficiency issues in a piecemeal fashion can cost you more over the long run and force you to spend money multiple times addressing similar issues. A professional will help you to develop a plan so that you can prioritize your spending and make your home a greener, more efficient place to spend your time.Share