A home energy audit is one way of assessing how energy efficient, or not, your home is. Conducting a home energy audit and fixing any problems can save you money over the cold months. The energy audit checks the heating and cooling systems to be sure they are working properly and are energy efficient. You can conduct your own home energy audit, or you can pay a professional to do the audit for you.
A walkthrough of your home is necessary during the home energy audit. You will be surprised how many things you do not pay attention to until you conduct this audit. During the walkthrough make a list of anything that you find that needs attention such as cracks in the wall.
If you hire a professional to conduct your home energy audit for you they will be very detailed while conducting the audit. They should examine every room in your home. They should ask to examine past utility bills. During the audit the professional should do a blower door test and a thermographic scan. The thermographic scan uses a special infrared camera to see if there are any hot spots in your home. The two tests together can see if there are any air leaks. The professional should also look at the outside of your home. You will be asked questions about whether or not there is anyone in the home during the day, how many people live in the home and if every room in the home is being used. The professional may also ask what temperature the thermostat is set at during the colder months of the year. Your answers are a necessary part of the audit. The professional will discuss with you ways that you can save money based on the answers you give and the results of the audit.
Not sure how to locate a home energy auditor (professional)? To find one, check with your local or state government agency. Your local utility company is also a good source for finding a professional home energy auditor. Always ask for references before hiring someone to do a home energy audit. If the person you hire does this professionally contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been reported against the person or the company they are associated with.
U.S. Department of Energy: Home Energy Audits http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/energy_audits/index.cfm/mytopic=11160