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10 Reasons to Buy a Home Energy Audit on Cyber Monday

 

home energy audit over ipad on cyber mondayFor about the same price as you'd pay for an iPad, you can buy a home energy audit to give to a loved one this holiday season. Yes, the iPad is sexier. Yes, the iPad is more fun. Yes, everyone wants an iPad. (Even one of my most anti-Apple friends has one.)

But, a home energy audit has a lot of advantages, some obvious and some not so obvious. Here are 10:

  1. A home energy audit can save your life. If your home uses natural gas or propane, the home energy pro you hire may find combustion safety problems, such as a gas oven that produces a lot of carbon monoxide or backdrafting atmospheric combustion appliances.
  2. A home energy audit helps the local economy. The home energy pro you hire won't be in China or India (unless you happen to live in one of those places).
  3. You may qualify for rebates to help cover the cost of the home energy audit and the home energy improvements that follow. Your home energy pro can help with that.
  4. Home energy pros can find problems and opportunities that you might miss — even if you're a devoted reader of the Energy Vanguard blog! They have the equipment (Blower Door, manometer, infrared camera, combustion gas analyzer...) to find problems that might otherwise go unnoticed, like an HVAC system that's starved for air.
  5. You'll find out how your home compares to others. If you suspect your home is bad but aren't sure, get a home energy audit or home energy rating.
  6. Find the air leakage sites that matter. Caulking the windows and doors may help a little, but your home likely has much more leakage hidden above and below.
  7. A home energy audit may prevent you from wasting money on a new high efficiency heating and cooling system when it's really a duct system retrofit you need.
  8. A good home energy audit will help you figure out which improvements will yield the most bang for the buck.
  9. Think that all you need to do is to insulate your attic? A home energy audit may help you make home energy improvements in the right order. If you throw insulation on top of a leaky ceiling, you may be wasting your money.
  10. A home energy pro can help you sort through all the confusing products and claims that you run into about how to improve your home's performance. 

Ready to get started? Good! Now you just need to find someone who can do it for you. The first thing you should know about hiring a home energy pro is to find one who's certified as a BPI Building Analyst or RESNET Home Energy Rater. Those are the two main certifications for home energy auditors. Make sure anyone you hire has one or both.

To find someone in your area, do an online search for the term 'energy audit' and the name of your town or city. For example, I'd type in ' energy audit Atlanta.' Some other terms you can try are 'home performance,' 'home performance assesment,' or 'home energy rating.'

Finally, read my article on choosing a home energy auditor:

How to Choose a Company to Do a Home Energy Audit

Who knows? Maybe you'll even get lucky enough to find a company that's giving away chances to win a free iPad when you choose them.

Comments

I wish my apartment complex would go for an energy audit. In February, we had 6 days in two weeks when the temperature got below 10 degrees F, and the windows and doors leak so badly the furnace could only get the indoor temperature up to 55. We put our own plastic sheeting up to cover the inside of the windows this year, and it seems to make a difference, but so far we've only had a couple of below-freezing days so there hasn't been a real test, and management hasn't done anything about the breezy doors.
Posted @ Monday, November 28, 2011 6:43 AM by lnthomp
good analysis, as usual; would have added wood fireplaces & stoves to #1; Inthomp: if they were paying the utilities, they'd probably be more diligent ... make them aware of tax incentives and equipment longevity benefits.
Posted @ Monday, November 28, 2011 7:08 AM by Paul McGovern
Great post and all wonderful points that people should seriously consider. Everyone needs to do their parts in helping conserve energy and their own money.
Posted @ Monday, November 28, 2011 8:32 AM by Todd Vendituoli
What exactly is required to become a home energy auditor?
Posted @ Monday, November 28, 2011 9:40 AM by Bob
Nice work as always Allison. You sort of say it, but I've always been a fan of independent energy audits. An independent audit can help a homeowner avoid being "sold" on less than efficacious improvements.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:26 AM by steve byers
Bob, both Energy Vanguard and EnergLogic (and a host of others)have training programs to help you become an auditor. We both also have lots of information on our sites about how to decide what path to take. Good luck!
Posted @ Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:29 AM by Steve Byers
Does energy vanguard do audits or who do they recommend in georgia
Posted @ Tuesday, November 29, 2011 3:10 PM by Wade
Lee: Rental properties where the owner doesn't pay the utility bills are a problem. They don't feel the pain of high bills or the discomfort of poor performance. If the furnace can't heat the apartment, though, your state landlord-tenant act may provide some help. 
 
Paul: Good point. Any kind of combustion can be a problem. 
 
Todd: Thanks! Glad you liked it. 
 
Bob: Steve Byers already answered your question, but here are the links to our HERS training class as well as EnergyLogic's: 
 
Energy Vanguard HERS Rater Class 
 
Energy Logic Training 
 
You can also find the list of HERS training providers on RESNET's website and BPI Affiliates on BPI's website
 
Steve: Thanks! I do believe that overall it's better to go with an independent auditor, but I know some contractors who do a great job with audits, too. For me, it would come down to whether the person I'm considering hiring seems competent or not. There are some independent auditors who are not so good and some contractors who are great, so I have trouble saying unequivocally that independent auditors are the way to go. 
 
Wade: No, we don't do audits, but I just sent you an email with someone in your area who does.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:05 PM by Allison Bailes
Well, my BPI link didn't work, so let me try that again: 
 
BPI Training Affiliates 
 
Also, we haven't set our 2012 schedule, so we don't have a class you can sign up for yet. Look for it soon.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:09 PM by Allison Bailes
You can only benefit from a home energy audit.
Posted @ Sunday, December 04, 2011 6:12 PM by Home Energy Audit Raleigh
It's truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Posted @ Monday, November 26, 2012 9:55 AM by Timm Hamm
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