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Home Energy Audit - What is it and What to Expect During the Visit?

A home energy audit is a valuable, and often inexpensive, tool for home and business owners. Many power (gas and electric) companies offer complimentary home energy audits to their customers as part of their energy conservation programs. An energy audit is simply a visit to your home or business from an expert on energy efficiency. An appointment is scheduled during which the expert visits your home or business and evaluates the efficiency of the building. They will show where improvements need to be made and offer tips and advice on what can be done to increase your energy efficiency.

When the auditor arrives at your home they will inspect your insulation levels in your attic, walls, and basement or crawl space. They will check your heating and cooling systems to ensure they are working properly and offer ideas on how to help them work more efficiently. Major appliances such as your water heater, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc. will also be checked. The audit will also include an inspection of windows and doors for air infiltration. Some companies even have a heat sensing device that shows areas where heat or air escape from your home or business. Some home energy audits also include installation of energy saving devices such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, water heater blankets, and an immediate reduced cost installation of a programmable thermostat.

The auditor may point out recommended improvements throughout your home during the audit or meet with you at the end and cover them all at once. You will likely receive a written report regarding your building's efficiency. This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about upgrading to a higher efficiency system or appliances. Many companies offer incentives and rebates for upgrading and the auditor will be able to fill you in on the details. Some companies also offer rebates on upgrades such as high efficiency windows, doors, and adding insulation. In addition to the higher dollar improvements the auditor will show you improvements that can be done inexpensively to improve your home's efficiency and provide you with immediate energy savings.

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