Like many homeowners, you’re probably looking for ways to lower your energy usage and save money … all while doing good for the planet. Switching out light bulbs to LEDs and installing energy-efficient windows usually do make an impact. But an even better place to start in your strategic energy-saving efforts is with an energy audit. Are such audits worth the investment?
What are Energy Audits?
Before answering the question about whether energy audits are worth the cost, it’s helpful to understand what an energy audit is and what it entails. Traditionally, a trained professional auditor inspects your house room-by-room to determine where and how you may be losing energy (e.g. through doors, electrical outlets, and/or windows). Advancing technology not only allows for more convenient audits, but also brings in more detailed information to ensure you know exactly how to save.
Audits can be completed with various sources of information: thermographic scans, blower door tests, review of past utility bills, and analysis of building energy consumption data. Curb is an inexpensive tool that details home energy consumption by each major appliances and zone (or room). An impactful audit brings together all these various sources of information to help you understand how and when energy is being used for personalized recommendations and tips.
Why Audits are Worth the Cost
One of the reasons home audits are powerful tools is that they stop you from wasting time and money addressing the wrong problems. One might believe the inefficient light bulbs waste the most electricity in their home, but the worst energy hog might really be the pool pump cycling more frequently than necessary. Auditors also have the equipment and insight needed to discover and remedy smaller, uncommon issues that you may never notice. The fridge in your garage, for example, uses electricity even when empty and myriad appliances continue to consume energy in the middle of the night when not actually needed. Such information can save you significant money on your energy bills.
Do you plan on putting your home on the market anytime soon? If so, letting potential buyers know that you’ve recently performed an energy audit provides positive influence on the scale of their offer because they see that you’ve been taking good care of the home they’re attracted to making their own. Energy-efficient homes are some of the most comfortable and sought after living spaces, and your home’s new owners will likely want to save just as much on energy bills as you do. The money you spend on an audit could be handily recouped with your home’s greater perceived value.
If you’re in the Austin area, Curb has partnered with ABC Home and Commercial to provide quarterly energy audits for a significantly reduced cost, as well as a personal energy coach to answer any questions you may have.
Curb: Energy Management Made Easy
Curb provides a simple and convenient way to monitor and manage all of your home’s energy consumption. The system provides you with real-time data on your home’s energy production and consumption down to each major appliance and zone (or room) in the home. You can easily see which appliances are consuming electricity in the home even when you’re away. Armed with that otherwise invisible information, you can control and automate appliances to ensure electricity is consumed most efficiently.
Along with energy audits, Curb provides ongoing and dynamic opportunities to continue to save money. You can receive notifications, for example, when you’re starting to drift above your energy budget. You can automatically and remotely control appliances to ensure that you stay within your energy goals. All-in-all, Curb provides a rich set of real-time audit tools to save you money and help you stay ahead of your electricity bill.
Victoria Sanders is the communications director and senior writer at Reimer Home Services, a professional home repair & HVAC company servicing Western New York. She has been working within the home repair industry for almost 15 years and enjoys sharing her HVAC & energy saving knowledge with others.Tags: audit, energy, saving