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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 1999
    Location
    flyover country
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    1,909

    Default Energy audit

    I don't quite know what to call this but I am clearly not in a mood to clean house, so why not play on coth?
    I received a cold call today from a company I have never heard of wanting to do an energy audit of my home. They will be in the neighborhood next week and would like to give me a free audit of where heat is leaking and all that. I harkened back to the thread here about how much energy is wasted, and I know I have dozens of little things that are plugged in, and every month I think 'that can't REALLY be my electricity bill!'

    I am of course instantly skeptical, but intrigued. NO cost but of course, they will be selling something. She mentioned radiant heat in the attic. My weak spot. I have been in this house since 1977, and have tightened everything, replaced every window, replaced insulation in all walls BUT never been nowhere near the attic. I do not believe anyone larger than a 12 year old could shinny up there. I haven't even looked up into the attic. I scheduled an appointment. What questions should I ask? Anyone know anything about this stuff?
    Another killer of threads



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,987

    Default

    Our heat and air company just did that, but they charged for it.

    They put a fan in the main door, pull the air out of the house, then run around with a smoke pencil checking all places air is leaking into the house.

    The windows are the main ones, then door frames, then electric receptacles, any can lighting, fireplaces, etc.
    You can see the smoke be blown away at every spot there are leaks.

    It is ok to have some leaks, a perfectly sealed house would not be healthy, without any air exchange, but too many leaks make heating and cooling harder.

    I would ask some good heat and air local company first, the ones that work on your furnace may do it, or know someone that does.

    I would not let some strangers, that have not been in the area for years and are an established business with good references in your house.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,795

    Default

    Personally, I wouldn't let some strange company I'd never heard of do an energy audit of my home. It's an easy way for robbers to case your house.

    If I wanted a free energy audit, I'd call my power or gas company. They're usually happy to do those, and if not, you can often get them from reputable local insulation companies etc.
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels


    8 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Posts
    1,972

    Default

    Whoever you decide to have do the audit, it can be really valuable. They recommended that we add insulation to the attic, in the floor of the attic between the joists, and that alone made a noticeable difference in how the house felt (ranch style with crawl space above, not a full attic). There were some other little things, some short term and some long term (windows and doors) and it was just really valuable to have someone right there to answer questions about this house.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,913

    Default

    Our local electric department does these. There is a fee if you don't make the suggested upgrades, but if you do they give you up to $500 credit on your electric bill. Sweet deal! We had an audit done on our oldest rental property, made the improvements, and got the credit applied to our electric bill. The renters said their electric bill went way down so everyone was happy.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2011
    Posts
    130

    Default

    We had one done maybe 15 years ago, and got a few thousand dollars rebate when we replaced all the windows with energy efficient ones and got new insulation and siding on the house.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,190

    Default

    I'd have an audit done, but by a local company or your gas and electric. I would be very leary about some company that solicited by cold call.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,669

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise View Post
    I'd have an audit done, but by a local company or your gas and electric. I would be very leary about some company that solicited by cold call.
    Ditto.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2001
    Location
    Parker, Colorado
    Posts
    2,618

    Default

    My company does this for commercial buildings, but we do it with the backing of our electric utility, and we are NOT selling anything. How much do you want to bet that their recommendation is that you neeeeeeed to have whatever they are selling? Go ahead and do it if you are curious, but take EVERYTHING they say with a grain of salt.

    Do not get radiant heat in your attic. OMG.
    where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,987

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larksmom View Post
    I don't quite know what to call this but I am clearly not in a mood to clean house, so why not play on coth?
    I received a cold call today from a company I have never heard of wanting to do an energy audit of my home. They will be in the neighborhood next week and would like to give me a free audit of where heat is leaking and all that. I harkened back to the thread here about how much energy is wasted, and I know I have dozens of little things that are plugged in, and every month I think 'that can't REALLY be my electricity bill!'

    I am of course instantly skeptical, but intrigued. NO cost but of course, they will be selling something. She mentioned radiant heat in the attic. My weak spot. I have been in this house since 1977, and have tightened everything, replaced every window, replaced insulation in all walls BUT never been nowhere near the attic. I do not believe anyone larger than a 12 year old could shinny up there. I haven't even looked up into the attic. I scheduled an appointment. What questions should I ask? Anyone know anything about this stuff?
    Thinking some more, this sounds fishy to me, hoping you didn't interact with them any more than telling them "thank you not interested".

    While they may be on the level, I very much doubt it.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,474

    Default

    Definitely do not allow a cold-caller into your house.

    But do have an energy audit done. Call your local energy provider or try here:

    http://www.energystar.gov/?c=home_im...ovement_audits

    And yes, figuring out where you're leaking/losing energy and fixing that makes an *enormous* difference.

    And not just for energy savings...a lot of those repairs and changes will prolong your house too. Just adding a vent fan to an attic will help your heating and AC bills drastically and prolong the life and wear on your roof too.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,294

    Default

    There are so many scams going on today and people using any excuse and reason to get into your home to 'case it', that I'd say no to this group.

    Contact the company that supplies your energy, be it electricity, propane, gas, coal, etc and find out if they do the energy audits. Even if you have to pay a couple of hundred dollars, it's well worth it.

    As for your attic, my is completely enclosed-no way to get in and it's really only about 18" at the most anyway so I'm not worrying. I don't see icecycles hanging or any kind of ice build up so I'm not terribly concerned.

    I had one done as I'm all electric with no additional heat source like a wood stove or fireplace and the fellow that built my home did a fantastic job of insulating it to the hilt. It was almost 'too tight' to the point that a few degrees tighter in their readings I'd have had to have a circulating fan put in to improve air flow.

    For example, the last 2 yrs my electric bill has averaged $148/month(remember, I'm all electric). That is for a 2646 sq ft home, and a 9600 sq ft barn and indoor riding arena. Unfortunately this has been a really bitter cold winter so I have a feeling when I add in yr 3, it may go up a few dollars.
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 1999
    Location
    flyover country
    Posts
    1,909

    Default

    in addition...Thanks for the input everyone.
    Well the update this morning is that I did look them up on the internet. I found a Facebook page and a listing in the YP. I had clicked on both because it LOOKED like a page. Not so. I DID make an appointment yesterday for Monday. I am having serious second thoughts as I do actually have some extremely valuable copper in my living room. Don't want any careless peeps in to surmise.

    Well, I called the listed number, and got their answering service. [I was told it would be answered 24/7.] That was about 9 am. It is after 3 and NO RETURN CALL. I will definitely cancel, and if they show up without calling, I will refuse entrance. Sad that you cannot trust ANYONE.

    I was burned last year by a friend at church. He has done all my remodeling for 10 years. He did my mom's house, and his workman stole my dad's silver coins worth thousands of dollars. Mike stood by the guy, so I will never have him do work for me again. sigh.

    VERY impressive MSJ! My little house runs that, and I thought it was high till I started reading about the propane issue. I live in an old neighborhood and my lights NEVER go out!. I have a gas furnace with an electric starter, gas stove and a gas dryer. Everything else is electric. Since I am almost always here, I wander to and fro, and leave tvs on and radios or computers. Shamefully I don't know how to turn off the laptop from hell. I am sitting now at old faithful, the old desktop. I never turn this off. I guess I better start.
    Another killer of threads



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,669

    Default

    We have a lot of problems here with workmen casing the house while they're in doing work. I would never let a cold caller into my house.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,987

    Default

    We were charged $95.-, but we are so far away, we generally have a $65.- charge for them just to show up to do anything, so don't really know what their fee is.

    As others have said, some companies do it free, like electric/gas/such suppliers.

    I think you are doing ok to tell them you changed your mind, are not interested now, just in case, no more references that you can get from them.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,129

    Default

    Whatever you do, don't let them in the house. Not only are they actually selling a product, but as you already know, you let someone in your house, and next week everything is gone. My electric company has an online audit you can do, and many companies do audits for very little money. You can probably do your own cutbacks and save big. LED light bulbs, or CFL bulbs (indoors only), turn off cable boxes when not being used (they're big energy vampires), and other simple fixes can really make a difference. I had a low electric bill, and it's a new house, but I still had more attic insulation added. It made a difference too. If you go to tankless hot water you can save, but remember that low water demand may mean that you have to turn on the bathroom faucet while showering, so the demand is enough to get the hot water triggered.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2009
    Posts
    471

    Default

    I can check tomorrow, but this is what I remember, my neighbor got free attic insulation since he had none,
    and I did not since I have insulation but it is old, only spoke to them on the phone but they seem legit.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 1999
    Location
    flyover country
    Posts
    1,909

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Underthebridge View Post
    I can check tomorrow, but this is what I remember, my neighbor got free attic insulation since he had none,
    and I did not since I have insulation but it is old, only spoke to them on the phone but they seem legit.
    but underhebridge, are you in flyover country? It probably is ok but there are several red flags.
    I am very interested in this thing. But I am rapidly becoming disenchanted by their lack of contact today.
    I am going to look into the Power and Light or the company who does my furnace maintenance. They hound me though and will have a keen incentive to sell me something.
    Another killer of threads



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2008
    Location
    Sonoma County, California
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    2,506

    Default

    Hi Larksmom, I own an energy conservation firm in California (www.teaaonline.com). We do commercial energy conservation projects using rebates and incentives from Pacific Gas & Electric.

    There are a LOT of fly-by-night operations out there working under the guise of residential energy conservation services. I would be **very careful** about letting just anyone into your house. Since most incentives/rebates originate with your gas/electric providers, call them and ask them about residential energy conservation measures and what third party providers they work with.

    Any company you talk to should be able to show you the various rebates and incentives available to you and outline your current usage, proposed savings, and simple payback period, etc. BEFORE you pay anything beyond an audit fee.

    I'd be really careful about letting these guys into your house without verifying who they are and whether they are a legitimate third party program. There are some great incentive/rebate dollars out there that are going unused because people don't know how to access them. The key is to start the process with your utility company and go from there.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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