Getting a home audit could save you money - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Getting a home audit could save you money

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(02/20/12) - Home audits have been around for years, but they've never been this high tech.

"We're going to almost guarantee we can find you a dollar a day in savings, $365 a year, and that's going to put money back in your pocket," said Joe Bean of Green Energy Management Solutions.

Green Energy Management Solutions says 'spend a little now in order to save later.' The Davison-based company will take two hours or so assessing your home and detecting those little air leaks that are costing you money.

"We're going to assess all your appliances, whether they be gas or electric. We're going to count light bulbs up and make sure you're switching over to CFL's or LEDS. We'll do the blower door test, show that leakage and then thermal imaging will help us find the biggest problem areas," Bean said.

These thermal imagers have come a long way. In fact, they can detect temperature changes to the tenth of a degree. And you'd be surprised at just how much that imaging gun can detect.

One single-story home in Mt. Morris was built in the mid 1970s. Like many houses in Mid-Michigan, it has its share of leaks.

"Look at that fireplace there. If the damper isn't sealed up, you'll have hot air blowing out constantly. That's 10 to 15 cents a day," Bean said.

Bean says most problems aren't that big at all, and can be fixed on the cheap with weatherization caulking and sealing. "Down here in the corner of the window, you can see the purple spot. That's where you have the cold air infiltration. That's the 8-10 cents a day," he said. "This double door, right in the middle, you can see that gasket isn't working properly. That again is about 8-10 cents floating out of there as far as warm air loss."

A simple smoke stick can find small, but costly problems in places you might not even expect.

"Outlets are terrible for infiltration. For some reason, the insulation doesn't get properly put back. You see how that smoke is moving to the side instead of straight up, that's where that cold infiltration is coming in," Bean said.

Keep in mind, assessments don't always bring suggestions that are that easy or inexpensive to pull off.

"It's never fun to have to tell people they're going to have to spend a lot to fix things. Windows are pretty pricey," Bean said.

However, the more you spend on repairs, the more it can pay off. Green Energy Management Solutions will conduct a follow-up inspection and report its findings to Consumers Energy, and guess what, Consumers offers a variety of rebates for making your home more efficient. So not only will you save money on your monthly energy bills, you might even make money.

"The rebates are big. We're hoping that your rebates will pay for your audit. Things like appliances, combustion, and your furnace bring 4 or $500 rebates right there, just a big check you can get," Bean said.

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