How a Home Energy Audit Can Save You Money
When you think “energy efficiency,” your mind might immediately wander to solar panels and wind turbines. But when it comes to any building, including homes, there are all kinds of things that contribute to how efficiently it uses energy – beyond solar and wind.
After all, “energy efficiency” is really just about the optimal use of energy in a home. If you’re trying to heat it or cool it, it’s about keeping as much of that cool or hot air in the home while also ensuring that outside air isn’t getting in.
In the past several years, there have been many great innovations to the energy efficiency of homes, particularly when it comes to how well we insulate them.
The problem with many older houses is that they were built before these efficiencies became standardized, in addition to the wear and tear they have accumulated over the years.
This means a lot of houses have air leaks their owners don’t even know about, which inflates their energy bills while causing unnecessary stress on their HVAC equipment.
So let’s start there – are home energy audits ultimately worth it?
Are Home Energy Audits Worth It?
Energy audits are so valuable because they give you a scientific understanding of how your house is using energy. You might assume that your house is just poorly insulated, but it could be more than that. Or you might not know where, exactly, the insulation could use some work.
So, if you’re planning on spending some money to fix the problem, shouldn’t you go into it with a complete, evidence-based understanding of the problem?
We think so – after all, you wouldn’t treat a patient without diagnosing them first – and it’s why we strongly believe that anyone considering improvements to their homes’ energy efficiency should start with an audit.
You might end up finding that your house has several issues; for example, maybe the insulation isn’t optimal in a few places but you have a serious leak pulling air out of the house as fast as it can be heated or cooled.
If nothing else, knowing how to prioritize the efficiency improvements to your house is extremely beneficial.
So yes, if you’re planning on improving your house’s use of energy, an audit is always worth it.
How Much Does a Home Energy Audit Cost?
Energy audits can sound a bit expensive. After all, we do a number of technical diagnostic tests on your house, including infrared thermal imaging.
However, being that we’re an Xcel contractor, 60% of the audits are underwritten by Xcel. This means the price after rebate is just $135.
Our goal with this is to make sure that people don’t neglect to improve their home’s energy efficiency because they don’t want to pay a high upfront fee.
Instead, we want it to be very affordable for you to have a complete understanding of how to improve your house’s energy efficiency, and we’re well-equipped to help you fix the problems we uncover.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
Now that we have the benefits and costs covered, let’s take a step back – what exactly is a home energy audit?
There are a few things that go into it:
- Utility Data: To complete an audit, we’ll start by reviewing your utility data from the past year (you can get your data at Xcelenergy.com). This data will help us understand how much energy your home is using.
- Usage Trends: When we arrive for the audit, we’ll have a conversation about your utility data, details about the house and how you use it, and any problems you’ve noticed with the insulation or energy usage. All of this will help us interpret the data we get from the upcoming tests.
- Tests: Next, we complete a handful of tests to understand how well-insulated your home is. This starts with a blower door test where we create negative pressure in your home by sealing it and sucking the air out of it. That will give us a high-level understanding of your home’s efficiency. Then we use infrared thermal imaging to identify leaks, test your HVAC equipment, check the duct system, and perform a combustion appliance zone (CAZ) safety test to check for gas leaks.
Once we have all of this information, we’ll create a comprehensive, custom report on our findings, along with our recommendations for improvements. These recommendations will be prioritized so you can focus on the biggest offenders first.
How Long Does a Home Energy Audit Take?
Energy audits generally take about two hours to complete. However, during that time, we will need access to every room in your house to make sure we aren’t missing any potential problems.
Above all, we want to make energy audits as simple, easy, and affordable as possible.
Beyond performing comprehensive audits, we also have a team of installers who help homeowners implement the recommendations we provide in our audits, whether that’s improving or replacing insulation, sealing air leaks, installing LED lighting, or replacing windows.
Ultimately, our goal is to be an energy efficiency company that Colorado homeowners can trust to provide airtight advice and even better service.
If you’re interested in an energy audit for your home, don’t hesitate to reach out.