Charlottesville Home Energy Audits: Reducing Home Maintenance Costs and Living in Healthier Environment at the Same Time
I was having lunch with my sister yesterday, and she told me she was replacing the windows in her home, because the house feels drafty in the winter. She has owned her home in Mill Creek for 29 years, and she has replaced the windows once already. Unless her first replacement widows were of a very poor quality, it occurred to me that she might have other issues. Maybe the windows just need caulking? Maybe there is heat loss from other parts of the house?
Before making a significant invest like replacement windows, it is smart to hire a professional to perform an Energy Audit.
We are very lucky in the Charlottesville area to have LEAP (Local Energy Alliance Program), funded by the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County and highly recommended by the Piedmont Environmental Council. From the LEAP website:
“Homeowners struggling with high energy bills or uncomfortable houses, and business owners seeking to cut energy costs, come to LEAP for building science expertise and, when available, special rebates and loans to make energy upgrades more affordable.
As a trusted nonprofit, LEAP delivers direct education and services for improved energy performance to address climate change; create cost savings for families and businesses; healthier, safer, and more durable buildings; and local jobs and economic growth.
Our alliance model is a community-based, public-private partnership. Our programs help local governments meet their carbon emission reduction targets, improve the affordability and durability of our businesses and neighborhoods, and stimulate the local economy through job creation and retention. Energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy upgrades benefit the local economy first with local jobs, and secondly, by keeping utility costs down.
A comprehensive home energy audit covers every square inch of your home, wall-to-wall, room-by-room, including crawl space, attic, and garage. It utilizes the blower door test and can sometimes involve a thermographic or “infrared” inspection. It includes vital health and safety components like testing for carbon monoxide and gas leaks and checking for mold and mildew. Overall, the comprehensive energy assessment is a very personal, tailored service designed to make your home more affordable and livable. It is at the heart of what LEAP is all about, and it’s the preferred evaluation option for homeowners interested in deeply improving their energy efficiency.
A home energy audit typically includes:
- Thorough analysis of the house, wall-to-wall, room-by-room
- Attic inspection
- Basement/Crawl space inspection
- Blower Door Test (whole-home air leakage, the biggest homeowner “aha!” moment)
- Health and Safety Testing (gas leaks / carbon monoxide / backdrafting risk)
- Diagnostic testing (air leakage, duct leakage)
- Identifies issues specific to your home
- Recommends personalized solutions for your home
- Infrared camera inspection
- A detailed report including return-on-investment calculations
Starting at $375 for City of Charlottesville residents; $425 for other localities.”
Other local vendors offering Energy Audit services:
More Charlottesville Home Energy Audit Information
In addition, here are some articles of interest with and tips on how you can save energy and maintain your home while living in a healthy environment. The following articles from RISMedia have valuable information and money-saving things you can easily do. The last article lets you know how to detect Energy Audit scammers at your door and what to do.
If you are considering purchasing or selling a home in the Charlottesville area, please allow me the opportunity to help you put the pieces together. Virginia Gardner, Roy Wheeler Realty Co., (434) 981-0871 – Email Virginia