Friday, March 16, 2012

The Importance of 3rd Party Energy Audits

As consumers become more aware of energy audits as an option to learn more about their home and exactly where problem spots are, more companies with "investments in the industry" are offering energy audits as an additional service. There are a couple reasons you should be very wary of these audits! These are companies like HVAC and window businesses, and here are a couple things you'll want to consider:

1.) Experience & Quality: Energy audits for these companies will never be "their business," or, what their focus and specialty is. So you may receive a lower-grade experience compared to a dedicated energy consulting company.

2.) Conflict of Interest: What do you think the odds are that an auditor from a window company will say that your windows are completely fine? Sure, they may be honest and tell you that they're "not bad," but they'll probably follow with a "you could do better!" 

These are major expenses, thousands of dollars, that may not impact your home's comfort or energy bill very much because they do not address the actual problem. For example, you could have top-of-the-line, energy efficient windows, but an air leak in the window frame will still allow energy loss unless addressed properly. However, many homeowners are tempted by the low price these companies can offer (again, another sign that this isn't where they anticipate to make their money). Our best advice is to be an informed, educated consumer! To do that, I've added a couple of links to help you know what to look for in an auditor.

Additional articles on choosing an Energy Audit Company:
Consumer Reports: New Report Identifies Common Energy Audit Problems
Energy Vanguard Blog: How To Choose A Company To Do A Home Energy Audit