If you’re like me, you may have seen a home improvement show or two. These shows are tailored to making your home better, whether by landscaping some new curb appeal, updating a kitchen or a bathroom or fixing a broken component like the hot water heater or the roof. All of these things will give you a return on the investment, or ROI on your real estate. The trick is to invest in improvements that will literally “pay off”, whether you are looking to purchase or sell a home.
So, knowing that the end result is to choose home improvements with a high ROI, where does a home owner start? With an energy audit, performed by a Building Performance Analyst who has been certified through the Building Performance Institute (BPI). An energy audit is a way to get a comprehensive picture of how the components of your house work together. Although there are many skilled professionals you may call on to do repairs—like a plumber, a roofer or an electrician—really seeing the big picture takes someone who will assess the home as a whole rather than by each separate system, which is what a Building Performance Analyst is trained to do. An energy audit can determine which systems may be falling short in the goal of whole house efficiency and which repairs will give you a substantial return on investment.
When you decide to have an energy audit completed on your home, you will get a comprehensive report, compiled from the information obtained in the audit. The process includes an initial consultation and walk-through with the homeowner, in which the analyst gets specific home information. An in depth analysis is then completed on all components of the home, which includes:
· HVAC system performance, gas leaks, visible knob & tube wiring
· Inspecting for water damage/mold issues
· Seasonal utility expense review, pinpointing opportunities to save money specific to your home
· Heater safety
· Carbon monoxide levels in the home
· Insulation levels and air sealing throughout the house
· Whether you are a good candidate for solar or other types of renewable energy
When you have the detailed report of all of the house systems, it is easier to see how your home functions around you and how to invest in the most valuable way. The opportunities to save the most money and to be the most efficient are those with a high return on investment. But whether you are motivated by investment value, becoming more sustainable through the use of renewable energy, reducing your carbon footprint or home safety, an energy audit is the place to start.
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