LESLIE: Rob from Utah is on the line who’s looking to save some green by going green and needs some help with an energy audit. How are you doing today, Rob?
ROB: We are interested in getting a home energy audit and mostly trying to figure out what to expect, like how much should it cost?
TOM: Well, that’s a great question - and a great plan, because energy audits can save you a lot of money. Now, have you looked around for audit providers?
ROB: I haven’t really reached out to people yet but tried to get in a little bit. But no, not really.
TOM: OK. So I would start with your local utility company. Because sometimes, they provide home energy audits, themselves, or will provide those at a discount. What I would like to see you find is someone that’s not tied in with a repair operation so you get somebody that’s truly independent. There are some energy auditors that work for the same companies that offer insulation services and weatherstripping and that sort of thing. And what you really want to do is find someone who’s completely independent.
The scale of the energy audit can vary dramatically. A couple of things that I would look for – one thing that is really good to get is what’s called a “blower door test.” And this is where they take a device and pressurize your house with air or depressurize it and can measure the amount of leakage your house has. And that can help you pinpoint the worst offenders and teach you how to get those sealed up.
Other parts of an energy audit would determine how energy-efficient your windows are, how much insulation you have in your attic space and match with the right kind of ventilation, how efficient are your appliances. It really looks at all of those areas.
And then it should boil down to a specific list of recommendations that are prioritized. Because, I think, a lot of times when we try to make our homes more efficient, we guess. We guess at where we’re suffering the most, whether it’s new windows or insulation or whatever we think we need or a salesperson tries to sell you. It ends up being a guess. But an energy audit really can nail that down with some cold, hard facts and help you prioritize where to put the money.
ROB: OK. Great. Thank you very much.
TOM: Good luck, Rob. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.