Spend enough time in the Valley of the Sun and you’re bound to hear someone talking about the benefits of a home energy audit, whether it be your neighbor, favorite radio talk show host, or an evening news anchor. They’ll tell you that energy audits can help lower the carbon footprint of your household, reveal how you can save money on your monthly energy bills, and show you what steps you can take to make your home comfier during the harsh Arizona summers.
But if you’re like most homeowners, you probably have some questions that need answered before you call up your local auditor and schedule an appointment. At FOR Energy, we’ve fielded just about every question a homeowner can ask about the process, and we’ve put together this handy guide for you to reference while you try to determine whether an energy audit is right for you.
What Do Energy Auditors Do?
During a home energy audit, your auditor will evaluate how your home draws power from the electrical grid, where that power goes, and things you might do to make your home more efficient. Oftentimes, this involves examining parts of a home that typically contribute to energy loss, like your:
- Windows and doors
- Garage door
- Ductwork and HVAC system
- Water heater
Sometimes, an energy auditor will also do a number of tests in order to gather data on indoor temperatures and electricity usage. A blower door test will identify the source of any drafts in a home, while a combustion appliance zone test will make sure any gas-burning appliances in your home are free from dangerous leaks. Finally, your energy auditor may use thermal imaging technology to identify any hot or cold spots that could benefit from updated insulation.
Are Energy Audits Free?
Most of the time, the cost of an energy audit varies from auditor to auditor. The more thorough an auditor is, the more time an audit will take and the more an auditor will charge. For example, FOR Energy offers homeowners two different types of energy audits: the Home Energy Checkup and the ENERGY STAR® Audit. During our free Home Energy Checkup, an auditor will check your home for common sources of inefficiency. During our $99 ENERGY STAR® Audit, they’ll also perform a number of tests to gather data on indoor temperatures and energy usage, which they’ll use to determine which energy-saving improvements would make the most impact in your home.
Is an Energy Audit Worth It?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American pays more than $2,000 each year on energy bills. They also estimate that pursuing the upgrades recommended during an energy audit can help a homeowner cut down on that amount by anywhere between 5% and 30%. Take a minute to pull up your most recent energy bill. Now, imagine putting about one third of that monthly payment back into your pocket. These projected savings only increase if your energy auditor can design a solar panel system that accommodates your household’s energy needs. With savings like these on the line, we think an energy audit is most definitely worth it.
How Do I Get an Energy Audit?
Once you find a reliable energy auditor—a company with a proven track record and excellent reputation in the community—getting a home energy audit is usually as simple as calling someone up to schedule your appointment. An audit can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours to complete, depending on the size of your house and the thoroughness of the audit you opt for.
Bear in mind that your local energy auditor may find themselves busier depending on the season. In Arizona, many homeowners decide they need an energy audit when late spring and early summer temperatures start to make their home unbearable. During this period, you may have to wait a few weeks to get an appointment with your auditor.
Are you ready to get started with your home energy audit? Contact FOR Energy today and we’ll schedule your appointment!