For many Seattle homeowners, with the New Year comes the new home improvement wish list. Where to start? There are so many published lists of top home projects, but which ones apply to your unique home and needs? Which projects will reduce energy costs and increase home comfort the most? Creating a project list customized to your home is easy, and often more cost effective, when you start with a comprehensive home energy audit.
The Doctor Is In
Just as the doctor orders lab work to assess your health, and then provides specific recommendations, a certified home energy auditor comprehensively tests your home to determine weaknesses and specific solutions. The home is measured against national standards for energy efficiency and indoor air quality (BPI), and where applicable, state building codes.
A few of the measurements included in the three hour comprehensive audit are:
- analysis of energy use
- measurement of heat gain and loss
- identification of ventilation, insulation, moisture and air quality issues
- combustion safety and equipment assessment
A comprehensive (aka “whole home”) energy audit uses the latest technology to go beyond the visual inspection that homeowners can do themselves. Joining the auditor on a home energy audit is a fun and interesting experience and provides a whole new way to look at your house.
Creating a Customized Home Improvement List
The home energy audit measurements reveal findings unique to your home. Even if you live in an identically built subdivision, no two families use their home in the exact same manner, so wear and tear will be different.
The final report starts with the most important repairs and preventative measures for safety. Then it identifies which projects to tackle to provide the largest energy savings for the dollars invested. Combined with your input and ideas, a prioritized list is created. We find that most homes have opportunities to save significantly on their energy use, often even with small targeted DIY projects.
Energystar® (US Department of Energy) recommends a home energy audit as the foundation for energy saving home improvement. They recently stated that, “making upgrades recommended in a home energy audit could save you 5%-30% on your annual utility bills”. This is primarily from leak fixes, sealing, insulation, and light bulb changes. You can obtain additional energy savings from upgraded heating, windows or other appliances. How do they know that these savings are real? Certified auditors, such as our team, go back and re-test the house after upgrades are made to see if they had the desired outcome.
Washington Energy Services skilled and BPI certified energy auditors will help you create your unique home project list based on the priorities from your home energy audit. Sign up for a home energy audit today.