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What is a Home Energy Audit and Do I Really Need One?

Having your home audited means giving it a checkup.   A professional auditor can perform a variety

Image courtesy of nirots / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nirots / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

of tests on your home to determine how efficiently it is using energy – and where it may be losing you money.  These tests can include a thermographic scan to identify where energy is leaking from the home and a blower door test to calculate the overall home performance.  An auditor will also gather information about your house like number of bedrooms and height of ceilings.  Fuel burning appliances will be tested for potentially harmful emissions and the ventilation and air flow of the home will be subjected to testing as well.  The entire process takes only 2-3 hours.  All the data will be analyzed by energy modeling software which will provide the homeowner with an efficiency rating and a step-by-step action plan to improving the energy efficiency, comfort, and safety of your home, along with an estimation of cost savings.

Many people find home energy audits very helpful; most do not realize all the ways their homes could be more efficient or how much money they could save.  Many states provide rebates to help pay for home energy audits, and will even reimburse the homeowner for many of the energy-saving investments they choose to make in response to their audit.  Maryland pays 3/4ths the cost of the home energy audit, and reimburses energy saving investments up to $2,000.  Go to your utility’s website to find the specific rebates they offer. (Pepco, SMECO, PotomacEdison, BG&E, BeSmart, DelMarva)    Visit www.dsireusa.org to find out what state, local, or utility subsidies for which you might be eligible.

Whether your home is old or new, a home energy audit is a good first step to improving the value and comfort of your home.  Improving energy efficiency will save you considerable money in the long run and can increase the property value of your home.  At America’s Best Energy Team, our goal is to create safe, comfortable, and efficient homes.   These three qualities are interdependent in ways most homeowners don’t immediately understand.  There is no obligation to pay for any services after the audit is complete, though a representative from ABET will sit down and help you understand your efficiency score card and your options.  And we can install any improvement that you choose, and retest your home afterwards (called a Testout) to ensure we have met your energy efficiency goals.

Owning a home is an expensive and long-term investment.  A home energy audit will give you a clear picture of how your investment is working, and a road-map to making it better.


Read more about Thermographic Scans: Energy.gov

Read more about blower door tests: Energy.gov

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