What Does an Energy Audit Entail?

Energy Audit First Choice Inspectors regularly perform energy audits in and around Chicago. An energy audit involves professionals doing a comprehensive examination of a home or building’s thermal performance. In other words, where are the leaks?

Heating and cooling a building costs money, and when there are leaks, the heat or cool air you’re paying for might literally be going right out the leaky window. An energy audit involves checking around windows, skylights, and doors to measure the leakage rate of air to see how well seals are performing– or aren’t. In addition, walls and ceilings and floors are checked for leaks as well. Most people choose to have energy audits done in order to save money on their heating and cooling bills. Leaks can be stopped and therefore energy is no longer wasted.

First Choice Inspectors can provide a written report with photos to show a home or building owner exactly where leaks occur. Thermal imaging overlays can be included when necessary in order to estimate energy use given local climate criteria, thermostat settings, roof overhang and other factors. A home or building owner can get a good idea of how making certain changes could effectively save them money over time.

Specifically, First Choice Inspectors use sophisticated methods such as thermal imaging scanning and videoscopic borescopes to find problem areas.

Common problems an energy audit can find include leaks in the air conditioning duct system, worn-out insulation, and windows/doors in need of sealing and caulking.

Besides talking with home or building owners about their energy bills and energy habits that may be raising their bills, an energy audit from First Choice Inspectors can also include a list of repairs to be done to improve the home’s thermal performance, therefore lowering overall energy bills– oftentimes up to 30%.

How to select a Home Inspector

In a column in the Chicago Tribune Ilyce Glink and Samuel Tamkin write about a crucial aspect of home buying, How to select a Home Inspector.

“Question: What is best way to select a home inspector? What criteria should I use to select a good inspector? I want to make sure the house I buy is in excellent condition.”

Searching for a home inspector is like looking for a good lender, ask friends, get referrals, speak with your real estate agent and get some recommendations. Perform a complete interview with an inspector; ask what the process includes, how long it takes, what the expertise is, and what kind of paperwork or information you will be receiving. It is also important to customize your home inspector around the property you have purchased and do not just take his/her credentials as fact, do a little bit of research before making a choice. Avoid getting referred to other specialists by asking your inspector what inspections he does not perform in the home, which will give you a better idea about who to choose. “Any inspector can miss a broken faucet or toilet, but you don’t want your inspector missing a large crack in the foundation of the home, mold in the attic…a roofing system that needs replacement, or a basic structural problem.”

 

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