There are a lot of reasons why you may want to undergo improvements on your home. More and more frequently, however, many homeowners are beginning to make updates to their homes to help them become more energy-efficient. Other homeowners already undergoing home improvements may put their focus on making as many of their decisions as “green” as they possibly can. These are all great things to do, especially when you consider the fact that the state of Maryland has released a report stating that for every dollar you spend on home improvements, you get $7 back over the lifetime of the improvement. When you consider this, you may want to also consider having an energy audit done before you start your home improvements.
What Is an Energy Audit?
Energy audits are fairly new and some homeowners may have never heard of them before. This is a close examination of your home and your energy usage. During an audit, you’ll find out how much energy you could be losing due to things like poor air seal, leaky ductwork, poor chimney draw, or under-insulated areas of your home. At the end of the audit, you get a comprehensive look at your home, your energy usage, and what home improvements you may want to undertake to improve these things. Included in the audit report is usually a chart that shows you how much fixing those areas will save you each month or year.
Why Get an Energy Audit Before Home Improvements
If you’re already planning on having some work done on your home, an energy audit is a smart thing to do first. For example, an audit may show that you have poor air seal around your windows. If you were having your siding replaced, you could ask to have your air seal repaired at the same time. This wouldn’t cost you much more in the course of the renovation, but it would save you as much as 30% on your energy bill each month. Getting an audit done can help expose areas of your home that may need a little extra work. And because you’re already having work done, you can make better decisions for things such as:
- The quality of the materials you’re getting
- The areas you choose to work on now, versus later
- How much money you’re willing to spend on certain areas of the home
In the end, you’ll find that your home is not only more beautiful and functional, but that it’s more comfortable and energy-efficient as well. And because most home improvements aimed at improving your energy pay for themselves, this can be a great way to offset a lot of the costs of home improvements.
Something else to consider is also the number of rebates and potential tax credits that energy-efficient upgrades could get you. For example, many towns will reimburse you the cost of an energy-efficient, low-water toilet if you present your town hall with the receipt and a copy of the plumber’s installation report. So if you’re already renovating a bathroom, taking extra steps to save water could be saving you money as well.
By getting an energy audit done before you embark on your home renovation, you can more accurately plan out the impact of your improvements on everything from your comfort level to your budget. Energy audits are a smart way to make the most out of your renovations and have the biggest impact on helping the environment at the same time.
When you’re ready to begin, sign up with BEYREP to get matched to a Pro who can put your green building concerns at the top of the list. Sign up today to get started and plan smarter for your next renovation.
Download our free checklist for Green Updates here.