Are you trying to live a greener life at home? Or are you hoping to lower your energy bills to make monthly expenses more manageable? Regardless of your motivation, a home energy audit is an investment that is sure to pay off.

What exactly is a home energy audit?

A home energy audit is a way for you to determine whether or not you need to make improvements or repairs to increase your home’s energy efficiency. A professional auditor will move through the home, analyzing each room to determine how your home is consuming energy and where improvements can be made. Auditors will look at everything from the condition of the insulation to whether or not there are air leaks around the windows and doors. The auditor will also take a close look at your utility bills from the past few months to get a better idea of how energy is used within your home. Once everything has been examined, the homeowner will receive a list of suggestions on how to increase energy efficiency. For example, the auditor might recommend that you re-caulk around your downstairs windows if he or she notices that the current caulking is cracked.

Now that you know what a home energy audit is, why should you get one?

Saves you money.

By following the recommendations made during a home energy audit, you can save anywhere from 5-30% on your energy bills. Each of the recommendations will be prioritized so homeowners know where to begin to make the biggest impact in their home. Contrary to popular belief, most of the time, you don’t need to make major renovations to your home to start seeing the benefits. For example, switching to a high efficiency showerhead is a small investment that delivers a 400% return within one year!

Uncovers hidden problems.

Some problems, such as a leaky faucet for example, are noticeable to even the most unobservant homeowners. However, many homes have larger problems that are harder to spot without the help of a trained professional. Would you be able to spot improper ventilation in your home? Even if you could, would you be able to identify whether this issue is causing mold and mildew growth? Getting a home energy audit will help you uncover issues that could be hiding quietly in your home, sucking up vast amounts of energy and driving up the price of your energy bill.

Even if you put the energy efficiency benefits aside, home energy audits are still important. For instance, if your home does have improper ventilation and mold is growing in your air vents, that will severely impact the quality of air within your home. Discovering and fixing these issues as they occur is essential to keep everyone safe and healthy at home.

Increases the market value of your home.

If you make the wise decision to get a home energy audit and follow the recommendations, you could increase the value of your home. Research has shown that buyers on the market are attracted to homes with energy efficient upgrades. The attraction is so strong that buyers and renters are willing to pay a premium to snag an energy efficient home. That means if you’re thinking about putting your home on the market in the coming months, it’s smart to make upgrades now that will pay off later.

Improves your comfort level.

No one wants to live in a home with gusts of cool air floating through the rooms, which is just one more reason why home energy audits are beneficial. By identifying and correcting issues within your home, not only are you becoming more energy efficient, but you’ll also feel more comfortable relaxing in your home once everything is functioning as it should be.

To get started with a home energy audit, contact your utility company and ask if they offer audits at discounted rates for customers. If not, locate a Energy Star for Homes Partner using this helpful tool.