September 5, 2013

You may have heard about home energy audits before, but maybe you're not quite sure that you need one. Afterall,your home is relatively new. It's pretty comfortable most of the time, and yourutility bills aren't that bad. Maybe you've switched out your incandescent light bulbs for CFLs, and upgraded to a low flow showerhead, so figure there's not much more you can do.

Well, there's a lot more to home energy than lightbulbs and solar panels, and a home energy audit is the place to begin. Here are 5 ways that a home energy audit from a certified home energy auditor will likely improve your life -- right away.

Improve your home's comfort.

Energy savings are one of the primary reasons people sign up for energy audits, but oftentimes they're actually more excited about the improved comfort once the work is done. Cost savings are certainly good, but it feels great to finally be rid of those annoyances, like a drafty room or cold floor.

Reduce your energy bills.

The amount of money you can save on heating and cooling varies from home to home, but is often substantial. Most new homes built to code do not incorporate modern building science techniques, whereas older homes were constructed during a time when efficiency wasn't even on the radar. Common problems include: poorly installed insulation; substaintial air leaks around service penetrations, windows and doors; and poorly designed building envelopes that permit uncontrolled moisture to enter the home.

Improve indoor air quality. 

According to the EPA, indoor air quality is a greater threat to public health than outdoor air -- even in the most polluted cities. Chemicals from building materials, mold, radon, and dust can all have a negative impact on health, and are further compounded by a lack of adequate, controlled ventilation. A comprehensive energy audit takes each of these factors into consideration to ensure that your home is not only energy efficient, but safe. 

Increase your home's resale value.

A home energy audit is the first step toward a more energy efficient home. In an era of turbulent, rising energy prices, homebuyers and real estate professionals are increasingly looking at a home's operating cost as a point of value when looking at homes. An energy efficient home has lower energy bills than an inefficient, code-built home, making it an attractive option. 

Peace of mind.

Do you know how much energy your home is wasting? Are you sure that the air in your home is safe to breathe? Is there radon in your basement? Are air leaks in your ceiling causing moisture to build up and pose a risk of rot and structural damage? During a comprehensive energy audit, you'll get an answer. Considering that your home is likely the biggest investment you'll make in your life, it's worth ensuring that it's safe and healthy. We can help. 

To find a qualified energy auditor, check out Energy Circle's energy auditor directory (national) or CCSE's list of Energy Upgrade California contractors (San Diego based).