Energy audits can help you find out exactly where your energy dollars are being spent -- or lost! Kevin O'Connor, host of This Old House explains.
TOM: Well, today more than ever, there are lots of reasons to try and reduce your energy use at home. You’ll save money on those utility bills every month and you’ll help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. An energy auditor can help you target specific areas for improvement. With tips on how to get one done in your house, is our pal Kevin O’Connor from This Old House.
KEVIN: Hi, Tom. Great to be here.
TOM: Now this is a fantastic service if you know what to do.
KEVIN: Yeah, there’s a lot of good reasons to do an energy audit these days and here’s how it works. An energy audit will often start with a blower door test that’s going to pressurize or depressurize your house and then the auditor will take some special tools – including the manometer, an infrared thermal camera or something as simple as a smoke pencil – to identify problems with air sealing and gaps in your insulation. A comprehensive audit is also going to include a combustion analysis for your mechanical systems and then they’ll give you a report which will identify specific areas to improve so you know exactly what to do.
TOM: Makes a lot of sense. This way you know exactly where to spend your efforts. Now, what does an energy audit cost? Is it expensive?
KEVIN: Well, it depends and the first place you should start is with the utilities because they may actually offer some of the services for free. If you do end up hiring an independent energy auditor, it could cost you about $500. But again, you may qualify for some rebates from the utilities or even a tax credit from the government. So if you want to see a video on a comprehensive energy audit, you can go to ThisOldHouse.com.
TOM: Great tip.
Kevin O’Connor from This Old House, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.
KEVIN: My pleasure. Always good to be here.
LESLIE: You know, and what a great way that is to know exactly for sure where you’ve got drafts or gaps in your home because, Tom, you know, I think far too often, people just guess and then they’re getting it wrong.
TOM: Well, I think they do and they end up wasting a lot of money that could be placed a little more strategically and more accurately and really achieve those lower energy bills.
Hey, for more tips just like that, you can watch Kevin on TV as he hosts This Old House, which is brought to you by GMC, a proud sponsor of This Old House. GMC – we are professional grade.