Thursday, December 16, 2010

How An Energy Audit Can Save You $$$


Most people hear the word “audit” and they automatically assume the worst (thanks, IRS). But an energy audit is actually a good thing. Although you may have gotten the impression that your energy bill is higher than it should be, you likely chalked it up to the rising cost of electricity or the fact that the kids seem perennially unable to turn off lights and electronics when they leave a room. But it is much more likely that the excess energy being used throughout your home is actually going to waste in ways you can’t even see. By calling a professional to do an energy audit of your house, you can assess problem areas and make changes that will reduce the amount of energy used while improving the effectiveness of the energy that you’re paying for.

It starts by finding a reputable auditor. Like most things in life, it pays to have a referral. If you don’t know anyone who has employed the services of such a company before, you may want to find one that is test only. This way they have no vested interest in the outcome of the survey (as would a company that also offers to repair problem areas. You could also contact your utility provider to see if this is a service they offer (as many do) or if they can recommend an area company to carry out the audit. They likely have a list of such people that they approve of.

Next, the auditor will inspect your home. They may use a number of tools, from blowers to infrared lights, to determine if there are leaks in and around your home that are leading to excess energy usage. They may also request to see a backlog of utility bills. This could help them to determine if additional energy is being expended during certain times of year or if your usage has increased over time. And you may be surprised to find that the auditor questions you about your energy usage. What they are trying to do is paint a picture of possible waste in your home, most of which comes from the age of your house, the year-round climate, and you (as in, your behaviors). With all of this information in hand, the auditor can make a fairly accurate assessment of trouble areas you are facing.

Finally, when the audit is complete, you will be provided with a list of potential problem areas as well as possible solutions. This could include sealing leaks, installing a thermostat on a timer, unplugging electronics when not in use, and tracking how energy is used throughout your house as a way to stay on top of your bill. In short, they will teach you to live more efficiently without having to forego the many comforts afforded you by the energy that enters your home. So while it may be inconvenient to have an auditor romping around your house and telling you what you’re doing wrong, you stand to save quite a bit on your energy bill even as you improve your quality of life.




Kyle Simpson is a writer for Seduction where you can find great tips and advice about the art of seducing your partner.
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2 comments:

Midwestern Gone Idahoan said...

I heard of this on one of the morning talk shows. I will have to look into this!!

Lesley said...

Really love your website design and this article! It's unfortunate that "audit" has become such a frustrating word, but it's true. There are definitely some easy things homeowners can do to conserve energy, but you're right that a home energy audit will diagnose and solve much bigger issues that simple household actions wouldn't have targeted. It's important to get a home energy audit, especially if you find yourself paying in the hundreds and see a spike on your energy bills! Don't just sit there and pay it! Find out what the problem is (at the source) and seek help to fix it!

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