This is the second in our Home Inspection Tips series
Now that you have received your Home Energy Audit report, how do you understand the report and what does it mean to you, the homeowner? The report generates recommendations that provide the highest energy performance with payback periods of less than ten years. The recommendations are listed for how quickly the savings can be generated based on the cost of material and installation along with the local cost of energy being used in the home. Each homeowner should decide which upgrades he or she may want to do over time and not be concerned about having to do them all at once. Do some of the simple ones (light bulbs) and see the change in savings, then move on to another recommendation. How fast you do them is dependent on your own comfort level.
The report has two levels of recommendations.
The first group will help you save energy now, items such as changing to LED lights; tightening doors and windows; adding insulation in attic and basements; and sealing and insulating ductwork. This group can be done by the homeowner with a small amount of training via YouTube videos and reading directions on packaging. This group is intended to help you use less energy by reducing energy losses with small efficiency upgrades and adding to your home’s comfort level with easy changes. The return on the investment in these upgrades is usually less than two years.The second group is for planning purposes as equipment, building systems and appliances need upgrading or replacement. This group includes air conditioning, heating systems, water heaters, roofs, appliance upgrades and window replacements. For this group, you, the homeowner, will need to research information on the systems, efficient use of energy, cost, and changes within the home’s space. The research should also include reviews for companies that are recommended by homeowners that have used those companies or the suppliers that those companies use, and how you feel they interact with you. You will need to be comfortable with their knowledge of the equipment that they will install in advance of upgrade or replacement of your systems.
One of the reasons for doing the Home Energy Audit is to save money on your home’s energy cost. Simply put, your savings is the cost of energy used before improvements minus the energy cost after the improvements. The return on the improvements equals the cost of the improvement divided by the difference in energy saved, which pays for the improvements for over a period of months. The return on the investment in these upgrades is usually two to ten years.
Doing the energy improvements recommended in the Home Energy Audit will increase the comfort of your home and increase its value by being more energy efficient. Homes that have energy-efficiency upgrades show that the home has been maintained, which generally will receive a higher resale value.
G.E.T. has current listings of incentives by federal, regional, and state for available programs for payment assistance WWW.DSIREUSA.org.
Michael Canavan is the owner of Eagle Home Inspection Solutions of Norwich Vermont. Learn more at www.EagleHomeInspectionSolutions.com, or (802)526-2642.