Angie's list

SHREVEPORT, La. - We all have a fall to-do list: clean the gutters, mow one last time, put away the patio furniture. Why not add lowering your utility bills to that, too? As you get your home ready for the colder seasons, consider adding a home energy audit to your checklist.  Angie Hicks of Angie’s List explains what that entails and why it can be so beneficial to you. 

"A home energy audit is a room-by-room review to see how efficiently your home uses energy," Hicks said.

Knowing where your house is losing heat will help you decide what updates to make, which will help you stay more comfortable and save you money.

As part of your energy audit, your auditor will review your utility bills and also do an inspection at your home. There are a few key pieces you will want to make sure are included in that portion of the audit.

"The Department of Energy recommends having a thermographic inspection done as a part of your energy audit," Hicks said. "That will use infrared technology to identify where heat is escaping from your house and will also show you where you need extra insulation."

The images taken during this portion of an audit will really help to identify gaps in the insulation of your walls and attic as well as leaks in your home’s exterior.

"The Department of Energy also recommends a calibrated blower door test which will determine how airtight your house is and if you need to have additional sealing put around doors and windows," Hicks said.

With both of those pieces included, your auditor can then give very specific, tailored suggestions about changes you can make, such as where to add insulation and which areas of your home aren’t properly sealed. Making those suggested changes can save you money, year-round.

"According to the Department of Energy, you could save up to 30% on your utility bills if you make the upgrades required in an energy audit," Hicks said.

Some states have rebates or discounts for having an energy audit performed, saving you additional money. Having a home energy audit done now is a great way to prepare for a warmer, more efficient home this winter

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