When an energy audit, also called an energy assessment, is conducted on your home, a professional assesses the property to determine how energy-efficient your structure is overall. This kind of audit is a good way to find out where excess energy may be creeping out of your home. It also shows you where elements of your home that are not energy-efficient may contribute to the problem. This is important because lost energy often results in higher utility bills, which can be a financial strain on you as the homeowner.
Increases Heating and Cooling Comfort
Because an energy audit reveals virtual cracks in your home's ability to distribute energy -- including heated and cooled air from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems -- you can address those issues effectively. Solutions include sealing the space around doors and windows and figuring out how to better insulate your home. The result is a cooler-feeling home during the summer months and a warmer home during the winter months.
Boosts Energy Cost Savings
Because you are no longer heating or cooling the entire outdoor area of your home, you can save money on your electric bill. When the air is contained in the space in which it was mean to distribute heated or cooled air, your system has to work less. This, in turn, means that with less electrical output from your system, you pay less each month in utilities. In fact, according to the Energy Audits Unlimited website, you can save between 20 and 30 percent on the cost to heat or cool your home.
Lessens Environmental Impact
An energy audit can provide satisfaction for those people interested in conserving energy for the sake of the environment. Being more energy efficient means that your home has less of a negative environmental impact on the environment around you. An energy audit also means that you contribute less to global warming because your unit is being more efficient and releasing fewer carcinogens and other harmful emissions into the air.
Improves Resale Value
Your home resale value is greatly improved with a professional energy audit. The renovations that you make to improve energy efficiency will increase the value of your home. In fact, home improvements for the sake of energy efficiency are the only home improvements that actually pay for themselves in the long run.
DIY Home Energy Audits
Although the U.S. Department of Energy advocates a professional energy audit as the best way to identify areas where you can increase efficiency, it also notes that you can perform a do-it-yourself energy audit. Locating and sealing air leaks, checking your insulation and replacing light bulbs with energy-efficient choices are only a few items on your DIY checklist.
- Energy Audits Unlimited: Benefits Of An Energy Audit
- Energy.gov: Home Energy Audits
- Energy.gov: Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits
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Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.