Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by admin
Home Energy Audits: Everything You Need to Know About Saving Electricity
A home energy assessment helps put homeowners on the right track to saving money by using energy more efficiently. Want to reduce your electric bill, and your gas and water bills? Want to make your house cozier? If so, you should consider taking a home energy assessment.
These home energy audits are a full review of how your property uses and wastes energy. They show what steps you can take to make your home use energy more efficiently to help reduce your utility bills. In this blog, we will explain what a home energy assessment is, we will also cover how to get or complete a home energy audit, why it’s a great way to save cash, and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
What's in this Article?
- What is a home energy assessment?
- Why is a home energy audit important?
- What are the benefits of a home energy assessment?
- Are there any tax credits for a home energy assessment?
- How does a DIY home energy assessment compare to a professional home energy assessment?
- What does a professional home energy audit consist of?
- When do you need to get a home energy assessment?
- Do energy audits take a long time?
- How to prepare for a home energy audit?
- How much does a home energy assessment cost?
What is a home energy assessment?
Also known as a home energy audit, it is an in-depth assessment of your family’s energy use inside your home and on your property. An energy audit will help you see where you can use energy more efficiently by reducing your energy use thereby cutting your energy costs. To assess your home you must examine many parts of it, including insulation and all electric-using items—everything from your light bulbs to your major appliances.
Why is a home energy audit important?
A home energy audit helps homeowners understand their energy use and find ways to use power more efficiently. It will reveal the changes; big and small, homeowners can take to reduce utility bills. This not only saves money but reduces your carbon emissions.
What are the benefits of a home energy assessment?
Performing an energy audit on your house has a lot of benefits including:
Reduce electricity usage:
It’s obvious that reducing thermal leaks and energy waste reduces energy utilization. As such homeowners can choose to improve insulation and purchase more energy efficient appliances when replacing them, whether that’s a new refrigerator, air conditioning unit or replacing old light bulbs with LEDs—all of which will also lower their carbon footprint.
Lower monthly utility bills:
Energy audits identify ways to cut your energy use. When you take actions recommended in an energy audit they will help reduce your electric bills and other utility bills. While installing solar panels on your roof is a great way to cut your electricity bill, choosing energy efficient appliances costs less up front and can make the solar array you need to power your home smaller.
Increase the value of the home:
Undertaking energy audits and making recommended changes in your home makes it more efficient. This can increase the value of your home.
Quickly determine any problems with wiring or appliances:
New software programs can conduct house energy audits and can identify potential energy use issues in your home. This can prevent any problems from worsening and saves money on future solutions.
Are there any tax credits for a home energy audit?
Yes, tax credits are available for homeowners who undergo an energy audit and make energy-saving modifications to their homes as a result. When making qualifying modifications, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to claim either the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit or the Residential Clean Energy Credit for the changes made.
The Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit covers 30% of the cost of an energy audit, up to $150 each year. The Residential Clean Energy Credit reimburses 30% of the cost of solar, wind, geothermal, fuel cell, and battery storage systems, with no annual or lifetime limits.
To claim these credits, you must hire a qualified home energy auditor. They will give you a written report. It will include the company’s employment identification number (EIN), which you will need to include on your tax return. You will also need to complete the necessary forms and attach them to your tax return.
How does a DIY home energy assessment compare to a professional home energy assessment?
Choosing a DIY audit or a professional audit depends on many factors and how in-depth you want to assess your home’s energy use. You’ll want to consider your budget, the amount of time you have to conduct an audit, and your level of expertise in assessing energy use.
A DIY energy audit usually consists of an assessment of your house’s electricity use, which includes looking at your electric bill and considering the age and energy use of your appliances. A DIY home energy audit may also assess easily noticeable things like air leaks, gaps in insulation, and inefficient appliances. However, it is generally not as accurate and comprehensive as an expert audit.
Certified energy auditors will conduct a professional home energy audit using specific equipment, like wattage usage monitors and other techniques to assess your home. The review provides a full report on your home’s energy use and offers targeted upgrades to make it more sustainable and energy efficient.
A professional home energy audit will cost money, but it gives detailed and precise advice tailored to your home’s needs and tells you how to start saving money on your energy bills with small improvements and big improvements. Plus, some of the costs of a professional home energy audit are tax deductible.
What does a professional home energy audit consist of?
A professional home energy assessment usually includes the following:
A blower test looks at how airtight your house is. It helps you find air leaks around doors, windows and other places that may not be properly insulated or sealed..
Energy auditors will also use infrared thermal imaging cameras to detect temperature variations. The cameras reveal gaps in insulation, air leaks, and moisture troubles.
The auditor assesses heating and cooling systems. They check the efficiency of your HVAC system, including the ductwork and airflow.
Energy auditors check the power consumption of appliances. They also check lighting fixtures and electronics to make sure they’re working properly.
The evaluation also assesses indoor air quality, which reveals any indoor pollution or airflow problems.
The auditor will provide a comprehensive report after the audit. The report includes the assessor’s findings, tips, and the anticipated savings homeowners can expect if they make recommended improvements.
When do you need to get a home energy assessment?
If you have noticed your energy expenses are getting higher or know that your home is draftier than others, an energy assessment can help. It can reveal the causes and put you on the path to lasting electricity savings and comfort.
If you’re planning on upgrading your home it’s a good time to get an energy assessment as it can help guide your purchasing decisions. This is true whether you’re planning on making appliance upgrades or installing energy saving equipment like solar or heat pumps. It will ensure that those clean energy systems are sized properly for your home’s needs going forward. With a well-insulated and sealed home that uses energy efficient appliances you can also save money by installing a smaller heat pump or solar installation.
Do home energy audits take a long time?
No really. But a lot of factors determine how long an energy audit will take. These include the size of your home and the number of your appliances as well as the number of windows and doors your home has. It will also depend on the kind of audit you have selected. However, in most cases, an energy audit takes three to four hours to finish.
How to prepare for a home energy assessment?
To ensure a smooth and efficient professional home energy audit, follow these steps:
Collect your utility bills:
These include any water, gas and electric bills for at least a year. This will help you understand your energy usage throughout the year and can give you or the auditor indicators of when your appliances use the most energy.
Make a list of any concerns:
Prior to undergoing the energy audit, make a note any specific problems or issues with your home’s energy use, like drafts near a window or any breakers that regularly trip.
Ensure the auditor can access all spaces in the home:
This includes making sure they can access the attic, crawl spaces, basement, the areas around your HVAC and hot water systems, and your electric panel. The auditor needs to reach these areas to carry out their evaluation.
Being organized helps. It lets the energy auditor examine your property and make accurate suggestions in a timely fashion.
How much does a home energy assessment cost?
The size, location, and complexity of the evaluation affects the cost. DIY audits are usually inexpensive or even free because all you need is your time and effort. You may purchase some equipment like a wattage usage detector or infrared thermometer. Professional audits can cost from a few hundred to several hundred dollars. The price depends on the scope of the evaluation and the services provided.
In the end, the most important thing is to start a home energy audit to begin enhancing your house’s energy efficiency. This is true whether you want to hire an expert or do a home energy assessment yourself.