Angie's List-Home Energy Audits

Improve your home's efficiency with an energy audit.
   If you're trying to come up with a New Year's resolution, how about making your home more energy efficient?
   If you do it before the end of the year, you might be eligible for a federal tax credit.
   Angie's List suggests starting with a home energy audit, which will evaluate your home's needs.
   Homeowner Steve Chase says, "One of the issues we had was around switches and plug outlets throughout the house. This was one that was maybe worse than the others. We knew it was kind of cold, but we did not realize quite how bad it was."
   An audit typically takes about three to four hours to complete and costs $250 to $800. Most auditors take pictures of floors, doors, windows, and ceilings using both infrared and digital cameras to find issues like leaks. They will also use a blower door test to detect leaks. After that, an auditor will include the findings in a report with descriptions and suggestions on how to fix issues.
   Angie Hicks, creator of the Angie's List website, says," When hiring an energy auditor you want to make sure they are an independent third party. The auditor should come in and give you an assessment. They shouldn't be selling you the actual items."
  She advises homeowners to be present during the audit, walking with the auditor from room to room.  Also, keep in mind that the total credit you get can't exceed $500 and it must be claimed on the 2013 federal income tax form.

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