Many homes have air leaks or may benefit from additional insulation. If resolved, this can save significant money on your energy bills. To help identify such areas in your home, consider having an energy assessment, also called an energy audit.
Energy assessments can be in-person or virtual. With an in-person assessment, a trade ally will come to your home. A virtual assessment will ask you to enter some data, which will be analyzed to generate a report.
An energy assessment for a single family home typically takes about 2 to 4 hours and costs between $200 and $400, but the cost can be less — and certain trade allies may have discounts.
In Wisconsin, Focus on Energy, our statewide utility program, maintains a list you can use to find a qualified contractor to conduct the energy assessment.
Here’s what you can expect during the assessment:
The outside shell of your house protects your home from wind, rain and snow, and also limits air leaks.
The energy assessment will examine the insulation and air sealing in the walls, around the outside of windows and doors, and at the junction of the walls and the foundation.
Even small leaks in these areas can cost you money, or allow water and pests to damage your home.
Your attic insulation is vital in keeping freezing cold out in the winter and blasting heat out in the summer.
The energy assessment will make sure you have enough insulation in your attic, and recommend adding more if you don’t.
An in-person assessment includes the use of infrared camera to detect gaps in insulation or heat loss, and a blower door test, which helps pinpoint air leaks throughout your home.
The assessment also looks at your larger HVAC equipment, like the furnace and water heater.
During an in-person assessment, the energy auditor will note the approximate age and check the filter looking for leaks, damage, or dust and debris.
Some will perform a combustion test to make sure the equipment is operating at peak efficiency and safety.
Central air conditioners may be checked for efficient operation, and natural gas water heaters for proper venting and combustion.
Following the assessment, you will receive a report from the auditor detailing the findings, recommendations, and costs for the work, as well as any Focus on Energy rebates you qualify for.
You can then choose to move forward with the work.
A home energy assessment is a way to know your home better and learn ways you can save on energy costs.
For more information, visit us online.