Have you ever looked at your energy bill and thought, “How did I use that much power?”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American pays more than $2,000 each year on energy bills.
We all expect energy costs to rise during Arizona’s infamously harsh summers. But what if your energy bill remains high after you have turned off the AC and have yet to turn on the heating system?
The time will come when the parts of your home that are designed to regulate its temperature lose their effectiveness. You may physically feel the difference or may not notice until you open your latest bill.
Don't wait for either scenario to happen. Be proactive. Find the potential problem areas and remedy them now before they waste energy and cost you more money.
So, how can you tell exactly where the source of the problem is if you’re not well-versed in home energy? Dan Mullaney, vice president, FOR Energy, Rosie on the House Certified Partner, explains how.
"The best way to determine your home's energy efficiency and how to improve it is to schedule a home energy audit. A licensed, professional energy specialist will make this process simple by providing a simplified overview of your home’s energy usage and showing you how targeted upgrades will impact your bills."
The Department of Energy estimates that pursuing the upgrades recommended during an energy audit can help a homeowner reduce their energy bill between 5% and 30%.
Read the signs in your home
Before eschewing the idea of scheduling a home energy audit, check out a few things just to be perfectly sure. Here's what you can do to determine if it's time for an energy audit:
Compare your bills: Look at your most recent energy bills and compare them with ones from the same time a year or more ago. If they’re higher now, do you know why that is? If not, you may need some outside help to figure it out.
Consider your home's age: How old is your home? When were the windows installed or replaced? How old is the insulation in the attic? When was the roof installed? If you don’t know the answers or know that it has been quite some time, that's a signal.
Feel it out: The most tell-tale sign that something is off-kilter with your home's energy usage is when you find yourself checking the thermostat more than usual. As soon as you realize what you're doing and how little time has passed since you last realized it was way too hot inside, look into an energy audit.
What an energy audit entails
When you decide your home could use an energy audit, contact a licensed, professional energy specialist, such as FOR Energy. They offer a free home energy checkup or a $99 ENERGY STAR® audit.
An energy specialist will take an in-depth look at your home's typical and atypical energy loss points. Using thermal imaging technology to see what the unaided eye can't, a series of tests will be conducted to ensure that the gas appliances are properly working and the windows and doors aren’t drafty. Once the specialist knows exactly where your home’s energy loss is coming from, they will tell you what you can do to solve the problem.
An audit can take 60 minutes to four hours to complete, depending on the size of your house and the thoroughness of the audit you select.
Difference between a free audit & ENERGY STAR® audit
For example, the complementary and ENERGY STAR® audit FOR Energy provides include:
• Personalized report with pictures of your home
• Recommendations to correct issues
• Available rebates and tax credit education
• Window and door assessment
• Garage door assessment
• Ductwork assessment
• Insulation assessment
• HVAC basic assessment
• Water heater assessment
• Thermostat assessment
• Roof assessment
• Utility bill review
• Complimentary solar design/viability
• DIY Recommendations
The Energy Star audit also includes:
• Thermal imaging
• Blower door test
• Combustion appliance zone test
• Room pressure test
• Whole-home leakage test
• Pressure pan test
• Home performance with ENERGY STAR® certificate qualification (For APS customers only.)
• PEARL certification
Rosie has encouraged Arizona homeowners to get whole house energy audits for over 15 years. There isn't a better investment you can make. Don't spend a penny trying to increase your homes efficiency without first getting the ENERGY STAR® energy audit. That way you can target your spending on things that will truly benefit your homes energy efficiency.
Rosie on the House special offer: FOR Energy offers a free Home Energy Checkup and a $99 ENERGY STAR® Audit to help you pinpoint the root cause of your increased energy usage.
Mention Rosie on the House and receive 10% off any recommended services.
While the audit itself isn't a quick fix, it's a great way to help find the best home energy efficiency solution for you.