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Great article from Energy Circle about energy audits.

"5 Ways an Energy Audit Will Make Your Winter Better.
By Will - October 4th, 2010

A home energy audit provides a roadmap for greater comfort, healthier indoor air, and lower utility bills. (Image credit: Energy Circle)
Since the earliest days of Energy Circle, we’ve been constantly propounding the importance of a home energy audit as one of the most fundamental steps towards whipping your house into shape, reducing your energy consumption, and saving money on utility bills. “Yeah, yeah, I know I need to switch my light bulbs,” you might say. “My house already has insulation, I don’t need any of that infrared mumbo jumbo,” you might think.

If that’s the case, should unknown forces inspire you to call a home performance contractor or home energy auditor to come give your house a thorough inspection, you would likely be surprised. Because a) it’s not about the lightbulbs (well, it’s only partially about the lightbulbs), and b) the purpose of an energy audit is to reveal things that you don’t know about your house (e.g. that your insulation has settled or wasn’t installed properly to begin with, or that the gaping cracks in your attic floor are causing more heat loss than all your antique windows put together)--otherwise, we wouldn’t keep talking about them.

Here are 5 ways that having an energy audit this fall will improve your life this winter:

1) Comfort.
Drafts. Cold rooms. These are not caused by ghosts, but by physics. An energy auditor will pinpoint the exact source of each of them, and give you a blueprint for eliminating them for good.

2) Money.
Heat costs money, and the heat escaping through air leaks and poorly insulated walls represents dollars out the window. Making a few low-cost improvements can save you a ton.

3) Safety.
Home performance contractors and energy auditors are trained to evaluate the functionality and safety of combustion appliances within your home, and to diagnose potential safety issues. Additionally, they can analyze your home’s indoor air quality to determine whether inadequate ventilation could lead to respiratory problems for you and your family.

4) Surprise Prevention.
Ever have an ice dam spring up unexpectedly on your roof? Or a surprise wet spot in your ceiling caused by said ice dam? Or an electricity bill that’s 2x what last month’s was, and you don’t know why? Surprises are good at Christmas, but only at Christmas. A home energy audit can help you pinpoint potential energy and building issues down the road, so you can prevent them at the source.

5) Knowledge.
Above all, perhaps the most compelling part of a home energy audit is that it serves as something of an owner’s manual for your home: it pinpoints its deficiencies, it directs you to fix them, and helps you understand how each of your home’s individual components are inextricably linked -- something few single-serving contractors can provide (horror stories abound of homeowners dropping tens of thousands on new windows, not realizing that that’s not what they needed--the home stays cold, the bills stay high).

Even if you can’t make all the improvements you’d like to before the first snow flies, a home energy audit from a certified auditor, home energy rater or home performance contractor will give you a detailed blueprint of the improvements that will give you the most bang for your buck. Which means a more comfortable, safer family, with more spare cash for Christmas presents. Not a bad deal."

Good stuff right? Click on over to "Get Started" to get an energy audit started on your home.



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