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Does your home need an energy audit?

June 26, 2023 | Eric BenSalah | energy efficiency, energy savings
energy audit efficiency home

For most of us, a home is the largest purchase we will ever make. A home needs regular maintenance (preventative and otherwise) just like we do, our cars do and so on. An energy audit is a great way to better understand your home as a system.

Energy audits are essentially inspections of a home with a focus on energy efficiency. Certified energy raters perform the audits and will inspect, test and measure various parts and aspects of the home.

energy audit
An audit by a certified energy rater will help you conserve energy, increase energy efficiency and save money.

They will use the results they get to help you decide what energy-efficiency measures and/or retrofits (replacing an old technology with a new one) will work best or are at least cost-effective. An energy audit can also help ensure a home is operating safely in terms of combustion safety and air quality.

A certified energy rater will inspect your home with a focus on increasing energy efficiency, conserving energy and helping you save money. A certified energy rater will also help protect the environment from byproducts of energy consumption, increase the comfort of the home, improve the health and safety of the home, and increase the public’s awareness of energy-efficiency measures and services.

The recommendations the energy rater will make can be as simple as behavioral changes in the way you operate your home. Or, a rater might recommend expensive retrofits, such as replacing a furnace or air conditioner, or making some upgrades.

What an energy audit includes

An energy audit involves a handful of tests, including:

  • A blower door test, which determines how much air is entering or escaping from your home
  • A duct blaster test, which pressure tests the duct system for air leaks
  • Identification of all energy-using devices in detail (e.g. type, condition, energy consumption rate, etc.)
  • Current and potential health and safety issues
  • Home measurements (size, volume, fenestration, etc.)
  • Other pertinent items depending on the type of home and other variables

The energy rater will use results from those tests and others, along with other variables, to put together a complete picture of the home, how it operates and how you operate in the home.

Making recommendations

Once the energy rater has that complete picture, he or she will then provide recommendations, which can include items such as:

  • Behavioral changes that will reduce energy consumption or increase the health and safety of the home
  • Retrofit recommendations (where applicable) and the savings expected from those retrofits
  • Maintenance procedures and changes necessary to ensure energy conservation, efficiency and longevity of the current appliances or HVAC system
  • Potential future health and safety risks associated with any energy efficiency measure, retrofit recommendation and more, as well as mitigation of those potential future health and safety risks
  • Estimated cost for labor and materials pertaining to any retrofit recommendations

The energy rater will also provide a written record of all recommendations and the report of the home.

To learn more about energy audits, check out this webinar.

If you are interested in having an energy audit performed on your home, check out either RESNET HERS Raters in Nebraska or BPI Energy Rater Locator to find a certified energy rater.

For more information regarding a home’s HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating, see About the HERS Index.

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About Eric BenSalah

Eric BenSalah is an Energy Advisor for OPPD. After spending time in the field doing HVAC work, he joined OPPD’s Contact Center in 2012, assisting customers with energy efficiency and heating and cooling-related inquiries. Over the last three years, Eric revamped the Energy Efficiency webpages at and launched the new Energy Education Program. In his free time, Eric continues to play drums (for 30 years now) and is an avid reader of philosophy, astronomy, history and all things strange.

View all posts by Eric BenSalah >

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