Sunday, January 20, 2008

Home Energy Audits

A home energy audit is often the first step in making your home more efficient. An audit can help you assess how much energy your home uses -- or wastes. It also evaluates what measures you can take to improve efficiency (usually about 20% - 70%). But remember, audits alone don't save energy. You need to implement the recommended improvements. ENERGY STAR provides extensive information about home improvement projects to enhance energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and increase comfort.

You can perform a simple energy audit yourself, or have a professional energy auditor perform a more thorough audit. However, be cautious of who you hire. Make sure the person performing the energy audit is a licensed Home Energy Rater. This Wall Street Journal article, Energy-Tuning Your Home, has more information on this.

Do-It-Yourself Audits

If you have five minutes and your last 12 months of utility bills, use the ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick to compare your home's energy efficiency to similar homes across the country and get recommendations for energy-saving home improvements from ENERGY STAR. You will also need to enter some basic information about your home (such as zip code, age, square footage, and number of occupants). If you don't have your bills, contact your utility for a 12-month summary.

Hire a Professional Home Energy Auditor

If you are interested in getting specific recommendations for improving the efficiency of your home, consider contacting a professional Home Energy Auditor. A professional auditor can use a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of your home. Thorough audits often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.

You can hire a home energy professional, such as a certified Home Energy Rater, to evaluate your home's energy efficiency.

To find a Home Energy Rater, visit the ENERGY STAR for Homes Partner Locator, RESNET Certified Rater Directory or FSEC's Energy Gauge Certified Building Energy Raters Directory.

Veterans Energy Solutions, LLC is a State of Florida Certified Home Energy Rater. Help us change the world, one home at a time.

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