Home Energy Audits 101

A home energy audit is a thorough examination of how your home is using energy and where energy is being wasted, plus recommendations for making your home more energy efficient. Implementing the fixes prescribed by a home energy audit can often result in a 5%-30% savings on your monthly electricity bill — not to mention a more cozy and comfortable home.  

What does a home energy audit involve? 

During an audit, a professional energy auditor will look at your utility bills and ask questions about your personal habits to understand your energy consumption. Questions might include: Are people at home during the day? At what temperature do you set your thermostat? It’s a good idea to have a copy of your utility bills on hand and make a list of problems you want to discuss such as drafty or uncomfortable rooms. 

The auditor also conducts diagnostic testing in every room to find areas of energy loss. She or he will use both a visual inspection and special tools to make a thorough assessment. Auditors look for air leakage in doors, windows and ducts, inadequate insulation, inefficient appliances and light bulbs, and more. Two common tests used by energy auditors are: 

  • A Blower Door Test — In this test, a fan pulls air out of your house to lower the air pressure inside. This allows auditors to measure the airflow between different parts of your home and assess airtightness in different areas of the home to locate leakages.  
  • A Thermographic Inspection — Auditors use infrared video and cameras to capture images that show warm and cool areas in your home. The imagery allows the auditor to see if insulation is needed and where it should go. 

After the audit, you’ll receive a detailed report showing all the sources of energy loss in your home and recommendations of fixes that will result in the biggest energy savings. You can prioritize which improvements to tackle first if you’re not ready to address everything at once. Auditors also provide information about rebates and low-cost financing that can help offset the expense of energy upgrades.  

How much does a home energy audit cost?  

The cost of an audit varies by state and type of home. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost in 2020 ranged from $207-$655, or $0.08-$0.50 per square foot. Many utility companies, states, credit unions and banks offer rebates and financing to help you improve your home’s energy efficiency. To get exact pricing for your home, request a quote from a local professional energy auditor and ask them about rebates before you dive in.  

How do I find an energy auditor in Colorado?   

Elevations Credit Union works with several local energy initiatives that can connect Colorado homeowners with a professional auditor:  

  • Boulder County’s EnergySmart Program 
  • HELP Loans for City of Fort Collins Utilities Customers 
  • Colorado Residential Energy Upgrade (RENU) Loans 

Improving the energy efficiency of your home can lead to significant cost savings over time and getting a home energy audit is the perfect way to start. If you’re getting ready to make home energy improvements, find out more about our unique loan program.  

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