Energy Audits - Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a Home Energy Audit take for my home?
What is the cost of an Energy Audit?
Do I need to be present during the Energy Audit?
Can my family and pets be in the house during the Energy Audit?
Is there anything I have to do to prepare for the Energy Audit?
When can I have an Energy Audit done?
I already know where my air leaks are – why do the audit?
My budget is limited, is it worth investing in the audit if I don’t have thousands to fix the problems?
Is there stimulus money out there to help cover my costs of the energy audit and the improvements?
What is a blower door and how does it work?
When and how will I receive my Maximum Home Performance Plan?
Are there different levels of assessments offered?
Can I get a Home Energy Assessment or Diagnostic Survey online?
Are tax credits available for installing more energy efficient systems?
Will a home energy assessment save me money? Energy?
What if I’m more interested in alternative energy?
Should I get new windows first?
Can I pick and choose the changes that will be made?


How long does a Home Energy Audit take for my home?
The typical Energy Audit takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to perform a comprehensive audit.

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What is the cost of an Energy Audit?
You will need to contact our office for current pricing.

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Do I need to be present during the Energy Audit?
You do not need to be present during the Audit, but it would be beneficial to you to be present.

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Can my family and pets be in the house during the Energy Audit?
YES. During the blower door test, all exterior doors and windows will need to be closed, and all interior doors need to be open.

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Is there anything I have to do to prepare for the Energy Audit?
No, except that there can be no large holes in the walls and ceilings (as in renovations or repairs). We also ask that you do not use a wood burning fireplaces or stoves 24 hours before we arrive.

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When can I have an Energy Audit done?
You will need to contact our office for available scheduling times.

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I already know where my air leaks are – why do the audit?
First, the leaks you can actually detect are probably just a fraction of the places where heat and cold escape. By using pressure provided by the blower door, the auditor will detect far more places where sealing and insulating can help reduce your energy bill.

Second, your house’s energy efficiency involves far more than just the air leaks. The auditor will be looking at ALL of your energy use… and waste, including your electricity and water use, insulation, appliances and heating/cooling systems to give you a comprehensive picture of your home's energy use.

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My budget is limited, is it worth investing in the
audit if I don’t have thousands to fix the problems?

The home energy audit is a Big Picture summary that can help you fix the problems of your home immediately, over the next year, or in years to come. It can be a map that guides you to the most effective improvements as funding comes available. You can do as much or as little as you want to or can, when you can, but if you use the energy audit as a road map, you will know that whenever you invest in efficiency improvements it will be the best bang for your buck.


Is there stimulus money out there to help cover my costs of the energy audit and the improvements?
Yes! There are multiple programs in place that will help you with tax advantages, loans and rebates.

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What is a blower door and how does it work?
The blower door is a fundamental piece of the energy auditor’s equipment. It actually creates a negative pressure in your home that forces air through all the leaks in your house, so that they are easily detectable and then sealed. In addition, the door measures the leakage so that overall improvements can actually be quantified using before and after tests. The sum of all your leaks can be as big as a wide open window in your house. The goal is to reduce the size of that total leak.

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When and how will I receive my Maximum Home Performance Plan?
You will receive your Maximum Home Performance reports within 5-7 days by email as a color PDF.  If you desire a paper copy, we will mail a full color report to you.

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Are there different levels of assessments offered?
We offer different levels of residential energy audits to fit your budget,  To learn more about each audit Contact us  and we will be happy to educate you and explain which audit would best suit your needs and budget.  No matter which plan you choose, you will receive a Maximum Home Performance Plan of Action Report.

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Can I get a Home Energy Assessment or Diagnostic Survey online?
No.  By definition a home energy assessment or diagnostic survey requires an intensive in-home inspection with testing and analysis.  The findings and recommendations are customized to your home and your specific energy and comfort performance issues.  There are several websites that provide a simple analysis of your energy use and standardized recommendations based on data you enter about your home and from your utility bills.  A popular example is the “Energy Yardstick” that can be found at www.EnergyStar.gov.  However, most of these online tools conclude with a recommendation to get a home energy audit before proceeding with energy and comfort upgrades, so that you can be sure you are doing the right thing.  Only an on-site inspection, testing and analysis by a certified energy professional can provide you with the detailed guidance you need for your home.

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Are tax credits available for installing more energy efficient systems?
Yes, federal tax credits are available for a number of energy efficient repairs.  Please consult your tax accountant for details.  When you buy products that qualify for the federal energy tax credit, you will receive a certificate for approved products.

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Will a home energy assessment save me money? Energy?
Maximum Home Performance Planning is just like any plan - If you don’t act on the plan, you will not see any results or savings.  Your Maximum Home Performance Plan will help you prioritize cost- effective repairs that will make your home more energy efficient, comfortable and durable. 
Some of our clients have saved thousands of dollars because what they thought was a problem wasn’t the cause of their discomfort and high energy bills.  An energy audit will help you make the correct decisions.

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What if I’m more interested in alternative energy?
Alternative energy is sexy and hot in the media.  The first choice to be made in conserving energy is to minimize energy use.  Maximizing your home's thermal envelope and, building shell and minimizing energy demand is the first step.

For example, a leaky and poorly insulated home will require twice as many of solar space-heating panels as a tight and properly insulated home.  Homes usually can be weatherized and prepared for alternative energy sources for a fraction of the cost of solar, geothermal systems and other alternative energy sources.

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Should I get new windows first?
Only an energy audit and assessment can answer that question.  Many people make windows the silver bullet of energy efficiency.  There is no silver bullet or easy answer to maximizing a home’s performance.  Your Maximum Home Performance Plan of Action will give you alternatives to replacing windows.  At times it is cost effective and necessary to replace windows due to rot from moisture damage.  An energy audit will address the moisture issue causing the rotting windows.  Before buying new windows, always read the fine print on the energy savings warranties.

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Can I pick and choose the changes that will be made?
Maximum Home Performance Plan of Action is a prioritized list of repairs to enhance your home’s overall comfort and energy savings.  During your energy audit you should discuss budget issues pertaining to home improvements with your building analyst.  Your building analyst will be able to customize the report to help you make prioritize your decisions.

You are in total control of what work is done and who does the weatherization and improvements to your home.  You will have a whole-house strategy that can be implemented all at once or in stages.  Remember, we welcome your questions after the audit—call us in a year and we will still be happy to help.

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