John Connolly

We've all been told to close the door and stop heating the neighborhood at one time or another. However, sometimes we are really letting heat, energy -- and money -- escape through our houses. An energy audit can help you determine where your problem areas are and figure out the best way to solve these issues. An energy audit can also be helpful in determining which energy efficiency projects can be undertaken in order to help you get a tax credit credit for green home improvement, or for exchanging some of your outdated appliances for greener appliances.

An energy audit can be done professionally for a fee. When having a professional perform an energy audit, it is important that you double check credentials. EnergyStar.gov offers a list of qualified builders and partners who can help you find someone to do an assessment of your home or start with their Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick. Before you have your professional home energy audit though, you should make sure that the cost will be worth your savings.

 

Before you call in a professional, you may want to make a few fixes on your own. Here are some common trouble spots for air leaks, which you can then plug with weather stripping, caulk, insulation or methods:

- Window frames - Hatches to the attic - Electrical outlets - Doors - Dampers on your fireplace - Baseboards - Ducts and ductwork

There are many more areas that a professional can confirm need updating, such as old, inefficient windows, thin insulation and outdated appliances. With a little time and planning, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency, lowering your energy costs while helping the environment.

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