Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit is designed to ascertain how power is being utilized in a residence. In addition, a professional home energy audit identifies ways in which energy can be utilized more efficiently in a home. There are a number of significant benefits accrued to the homeowner when taking advantage of a professional home energy audit.

Do-It-Yourself Versus Professional Energy Audits

Some tools and resources exist that permit a homeowner to undertake a do-it-yourself home energy audit. Although such an audit may provide some generalized insights into the home’s energy use, there are limitations to what can be ascertained and ultimately accomplished via a do-it-yourself audit.

The reality is that a do-it-yourself audit doesn’t provide the same depth of information as is gathered through a professional energy audit. Moreover, the do-it-yourself approach restricts a homeowner’s ability to receive professional recommendations about how to specifically improve their home’s energy efficiency.

In the final analysis, obtaining a professional home energy audit provides a homeowner with a wider swath of important benefits. Although a consumer does have to pay a fee for a professional home energy audit, the expense will be recouped many times over by the benefits reaped from this type of professional assistance.

Home Energy Infographic. Image via Ciel Power

Home Energy Infographic. Image via Ciel Power

For more information on home energy audits click here.

Lower Energy Costs

In difficult economic times, responsible individuals are vigilantly on the lookout for ways to save money. Indeed, even in more vibrant economic periods, thoughtful people do their best to efficiently spend their hard earned money.

One of the primary benefits associated with a home energy audit is lowering energy costs. Through a home energy audit, a professional concludes where and how energy isn’t being efficiently utilized. Once energy waste is identified in this manner, a professional can providing a homeowner with suggestions and strategies to increase energy efficiency — including from gas and electricity consumption.

Armed with these recommendations and strategies, a homeowner can get a better handle on more efficient residential energy use and save money in the process. The equation is simple: lower energy use results in reduced utility bills more money in the homeowner’s pocket.

There are specifically trained home energy audit professionals that are certified by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star Program. In some instances, these professionals are in the best position to identify different types of energy efficiency resources for homeowners.

Where do you energy dollars go? Image via GHE Power.

Where do you energy dollars go? Image via BGE Home.

Protect the Environment

Another key benefit of a home energy audit is a protecting the environment. The reality is that energy inefficiency in a home contributes unnecessarily to harmful environmental emissions. These emissions can be reduced — and many times significantly so — through a home energy audit and the implementation of recommended changes and strategies.

According to the United States Department of Energy, since the inception of the Energy Star program, home energy audits and associated alterations and conservation programs have reduced residential greenhouse gas emissions by over two billion metric tons as of 2013. The reduction continues apace as more homeowners undertake professional home energy audits.

Increase Comfort in the Residence

Many residential properties have climate control issues. In simple, basic terms, there are parts of a property that are too cold in winter and too warm in summer. The cause of these temperature issues can best be identified by a professional home energy audit.

Common problems that contribute to the home’s overall comfort level include mechanical problems with the HVAC system, inadequacies of windows and doors, and problems with insulation. Once identified, appropriate steps can be taken to rectify these problems.

In addition to increased comfort levels associated with temperature, a home energy audit can also identify humidity problems. This includes situations in which a home is too dry or too humid. Both situations impact the home’s overall comfort level. A home energy audit works not only to identify these types of problems but provides recommended strategies, resources and equipment to balance humidity levels within a home.

Another type of problem associated with comfort that can be identified and addressed via a home energy audit is drafts within a residence. Unfortunately, residential properties new and old can be subjected to unpleasant drafts at different times of the year. In some cases, the source of these drafts cannot even be appropriately identified by the homeowner.

Through a home energy audit, the source of less evident drafts are identified and strategies for eliminating them are implemented. The net effect is to eliminate bothersome drafts and improve the overall comfort level of a residence.

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Tax Benefits

On the list of positive elements of a home energy audit are certain tax benefits. Oftentimes, a home energy audit identifies certain improvements that can be made to enhance overall residential energy efficiency. If these improvements are undertaken, a homeowner may be able to take advantage of certain tax benefits, including tax credits.

In the final analysis, a homeowner may not have ever been in a position to take advantage of certain tax credits and associated benefits in the absence of a home energy audit. In some instances, the tax benefits (including credits) associated with energy related improvements in residential property prove to be rather generous and are not to be missed.

Residential Safety

An important benefit associated with a home energy audit is improved residential safety. The reality is that if the mechanical elements of a home heating, air conditioning and ventilation system are not properly functioning, the residents are put in a potentially perilous position. Through a home energy audit, these potential problems are identified through the work of a qualified inspector.

One safety concern that is lowered by a home energy audit is fire risk. For example, a home energy audit can identify flaws with mechanical systems that have the potential for giving rise to a fire.

Each year, an average of 150 people in the United States needlessly die at home from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A home energy audit can identify potential issues and problems that could give rise to the accumulation of harmful — indeed, potentially fatal — carbon monoxide levels in a residence.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ranked indoor air pollution on a list of the top five environmental dangers. This includes residential indoor air. In fact, indoor air can be one to two times more polluted than outdoor air. In fact, there are instances in which indoor air is 100 times more polluted than outdoor air.

An important benefit of a home energy audit is an ultimate improvement in overall indoor air quality. A home energy audit will identify aspects of an interior heating, air conditioning and ventilation system that requires modification, upgrade, or repair. This results in improved indoor air quality. In some instances, the improvement is vast.

Because professional home energy audit benefits are manifold, a homeowner is wise to schedule this type of inspection and analysis. From a money savings, to environmental protection, to health improvements, the tangible benefits of a home energy audit are worth the financial investment. For more information on energy audits as well as other energy efficiency ideas visit Modernize.com

About The Author

Tim Smith
Tim Smith writes about home improvement and green living topics. Tim lives in Austin.