27 Apr Is a Free Energy Audit Worth Doing?
Many energy service companies and utility programs offer homeowners a free energy audit. Typically, these no-cost energy audits provide generalizations about the energy use in your home. As a result, they lack specific recommendations that provide customized energy savings for you and your family. However, no-cost energy audits remain a good “first-step” into the world of energy conservation.
For example, have you had an energy audit and your utility bills remain unchanged? Did the free energy audit improve your home comfort? If so, then consider a high quality energy audit that provides better results.
Free Energy Audit Considerations
Most free energy audits fall into two main categories, walk-through energy audits or company offered energy audits. Here is a summary of each:
Walk-through Energy Audits
Many no-cost or free energy audits provide a walk-through audits. Walk-through energy audits, as the name suggests, involve an energy auditor walking through the home collecting data from the homeowner and through visual inspection. Additionally, most walk-through energy audits do not include diagnostic testing. As a result, the audit lacks detail or specific recommendations.
Although there are some considerations, free energy audits remain a positive first step for homeowners. An audit highlights any home issues and offers a homeowner an opportunity to conduct more research. For instance, a quality energy audit results in a roadmap that creates a more comfortable home. When done properly, a higher quality energy audit pinpoints the true sources of energy inefficiency or comfort problems in your home. A comprehensive audit identifies issues and offers specific recommendations for things such as excessive air leaks, insufficient insulation levels and inefficient heating and cooling systems.
Company Offered No-Cost Energy Audits
Some companies perform free energy audits with the intent of selling specific products or equipment. Be wary of companies that use low to no-cost energy audits. Often, these companies use free energy audits as a sales pitch. For example, window companies that perform free energy audits frequently offer window replacement quotes regardless of the home’s actual energy efficiency or comfort problems.
An effective and unbiased energy audit results in recommendations based on the deficiencies of your home. The results of properly completed audit does not align with the specific products and services the auditing company sells.
As a result, find out what any free energy audit includes. Will it include diagnostic testing? Are the final recommendations customized to my home? Typically, a valuable energy audit does costs a fee. It is important to understand how the audit inspects your home or you may never know the ultimate cost.