Energy audits explained: Here’s what to know

 
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Energy costs are one of the biggest monthly expenses you'll face as a homeowner, especially here in the Pacific Northwest -- heating and cooling are responsible for around 54% of utility bills in the average home.

A home energy audit is typically the first step towards reducing monthly utility bills. Professional contractors like GreenSavers will dispatch auditors to your home to inspect it from top to bottom, discovering any energy leeches and offering advice on how they can be managed or reversed.

What Home Energy Audits Entail

The process itself is quite simple but requires a knowledgeable auditor -- only years of experience can identify and offer solutions for energy leaks that affect the efficiency of your home (not to mention the impact they have on your monthly living costs).

Most contractors do a thorough diagnostic inspection, some of which can take up to four hours. During this time, they will perform tests designed to measure the airtightness of your house -- specifically, how much heat or cold air you lose even when the house is completely sealed. They'll also explore your ventilation and moisture levels: high indoor humidity can lead to structural problems caused by mold, the spores of which can also cause health problems. Every aspect of your home -- from the insulation to your HVAC system -- is examined with a fine-toothed comb to single out its inefficiencies and potential health risks.

Why It Matters

Righting your house's wrongs does more than put money back in your pocket every month; it improves your quality of life. This is your home -- it should be the safest and most comfortable place in the world. Improving air quality will have you and your family (literally) breathing easier, sealing breaches will keep you cozy in the winter and refreshed in the summer, and upgrading your floor insulation will lower your chances of rodent and pest infestations.

Best of all, these solutions are green: they're as good for the environment as they are for you! The less energy you use (and waste), the less impact you're having on this wonderful planet.

 
Steffan Kasula