Which Home Energy Audit is Best?
Homeowners can choose from various types of home energy audits: a do-it-yourselfer, a free or low-cost one from the utility company, or one by a professional. All can offer some degree of benefits, but according to Pro Energy Consultants, the only way to truly solve a homeowner's pain due to discomfort or high-energy bills is with a professional home energy audit.
CLEVELAND – Dec. 17, 2009 –With ever-rising energy bills, we’re hearing more and more about the benefits of home energy audits. But is an energy audit something for a do-it-yourselfer? Or should homeowners opt for the low- to no-cost energy audit offered by many utility companies? Or, is it best to pay for a professional to perform the energy audit?
Well, it all depends on the homeowner’s desired result. A do-it-yourself or utility company energy audit will provide basic energy saving tips such as upgrading to Energy Star rated appliances, turning down the thermostat, and using more energy efficient light bulbs. A utility company may also recommend a new furnace. But for those who truly want to understand the overall performance of the home and what’s causing the discomfort issues (such as rooms difficult to heat or cool, or poor indoor air quality) and higher-than-normal energy bills, then the best bet is likely paying for a professional home energy auditor.
“Look at it this way: When you’re really sick or have a serious injury — do you read a bunch of books and try to treat yourself, or do you go to a doctor?” said Pro Energy Consultants Principal Mark Cannella, who has personally performed more than 10,000 energy audits since 1995. “The same applies to your home.”
According to Cannella, Pro Energy Consultants (www.proenergyconsultants.com) is like a “house” doctor by “prescribing’ home energy audits that are customized, diagnostic and educational—and performed by a trained professional using the latest technology. By installing an electronic blower door in an exterior door, a professional energy auditor can in essence take an “X-ray” of the home by using infrared thermal imaging to identify all the hidden building energy “leakage” areas. Such an energy audit will not only pinpoint the source of the homeowner’s “pain” but also prioritize recommended home improvements to maximize the return on investment.
“Keep in mind that most do-it-yourself or utility company energy audits typically only provide a best guess as to what’s wrong with your home,” said Cannella. “However, a comprehensive, professional energy audit removes all the guesswork and can possibly save you from making unnecessary costly repairs.”
Pro Energy Consultants also offers these additional tips:
- Know the difference between an energy auditor and an energy rater. An energy rater collects data from a visual inspection of the home, enters it into a software program called REScheck™, and then lets gives the house a passing or failing grade. There is no infrared camera, no building diagnostics and no problem solving.
- It’s safest to have an independent, third party performs the home energy audit. If the energy auditor arrives with a truck full of new windows and insulation, don’t be surprised when he recommends… new windows and more insulation.
- Don’t fall victim to the groupthink that the first step a homeowner should take to “go green” and save energy is installing new windows, adding more insulation or buying a new furnace. The smartest first step is assessing the home’s issues by having a professional home energy audit.
- Ask the energy auditor if there’s any type of guarantee.
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About Pro Energy Consultants
Pro Energy Consultants’ proven system for conducting energy audits is backed by more than 15 years experience and more than 10,000 energy audits. The company’s mission is to provide customized, comprehensive and diagnostic energy audits designed to maximize a home’s comfort and energy efficiency while reducing energy costs. This mission not only sets the worldwide standard for energy audits but also established Pro Energy as the world’s leading expert on the subject. In October 2008 Pro Energy began awarding franchises—making it the first national franchise in residential energy auditing. Being the ideal “green franchise” opportunity, it has quickly grown to more than 35 franchises nationwide. The company is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, call 888.9PROENERGY (1-888-977-6363) or visit www.proenergyconsultants.com.