Frequently Asked Questions About Home Energy Audits
A home energy audit, which is also referred to as a home energy assessment, helps you get an understanding of the entire picture of the energy use of your home. It should be your initial step before you make any home improvements to save energy or before you add a renewable energy system to your house. Below are some frequently asked questions about home energy audits.
- What is an Energy Audit?
During an energy audit, you'll have an Energy Specialist come and perform an in-home consultation to help you gain an understanding of your home's electric consumption. They'll assess your house and help you find different ways of:
- Reducing energy consumption
- Lower energy bills
- Improve comfort
- How Long Do Energy Audits Last?
Typical consultations last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. During this time the Energy Specialist will go over your energy usage with you as well as assess your home to see where you can save on energy. During this consultation, an adult should be present.
- What Will the Energy Audit Outcome Be?
After your consultation, you'll receive a follow-up report from the Energy Specialist that:
- Summarizes your home's present conditions
- Identifies possible energy saving measures
- Provides guidance towards energy saving remediation and additional resources
- How Do You Prepare for Your Energy Audit?
The Energy Specialist might ask for access to all of your home's rooms, the attic, the garage and the yard during the audit. Let them know if a ladder is needed to access the attic when you schedule your appointment so they will be sure to bring adequate equipment.
- Will You Talk About Gas Usage During the Energy Audit?
While the Energy Specialist won't have access to your gas usage, during the audit, they will be talking about and offering recommendations to help also lower your gas consumption.
How to Prepare for your Energy Audit
Prior to the Energy Specialist visiting your home, make a list of all existing issues like uncomfortable or drafty rooms and condensation. Have a summary or copies of your home’s annual energy bills. You can obtain these from your utility company. Auditors will use this information for establishing what they should be looking for during the audit.
First, they’ll assess the outside of your house to determine your home’s size and its features (i.e. size and number of windows, wall area, etc.). The Energy Specialist will also analyze your behavior, such as:
- Is there anybody home during working hours?
- How many individuals live there?
- What’s the average thermostat setting for winter and summer?
- Do you use every room?
The answers you provide will help them uncover easy ways you can reduce your home’s energy consumption.
When the monthly energy, water or gas bill shows up in the mail, the total isn’t always what you’d expect. In some cases, the final energy use tally can seem totally mind-boggling. You might not take into account the little behaviors or habits that could affect your energy consumption as well as the bills that follow. Still, each time you turn on your water faucet, leave a light on or plug in a device, you’re using energy and you’re being billed for it.
Energy costs money and each invisible puff of gas and drop of water is added to your monthly bill. However, there are ways to save on your energy bills and a home energy audit will help you determine what these ways are. These may include adding a whole house fan or attic fan as examples.