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Uncover energy efficiency:

Uncover energy efficiency:

How to conduct a home energy audit

Published 8/28/2023

In our comprehensive guide to conducting a thorough home energy audit, we’ll help you uncover valuable insights and expert tips to optimize your energy usage and maximize efficiency. Discover how to assess your home's energy efficiency, pinpoint areas for improvement, and unlock significant energy and cost savings. Whether you opt for a do-it-yourself audit or enlist the services of a professional, this guide will empower you with the insights necessary to enhance the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.


  1. Understanding the importance of a home energy audit

  2. DIY home energy audit vs. professional home energy audit

  3. Conducting a DIY home energy audit

  4. What a professional home energy audit includes

  5. The cost of a home energy audit

  6. How to prepare for a home energy audit

  7. Understanding a home energy audit report

  8. Making your home more comfortable and energy-efficient post-audit with Sunrun

  9. Key takeaways

1. Understanding the importance of a home energy audit

A home energy audit is a thorough evaluation of your home's energy usage and efficiency. It provides valuable insights into energy consumption, identifies areas of waste, and offers recommendations for enhancements. By conducting an audit, you can proactively reduce energy consumption, lower utility bills, and cultivate a more sustainable living environment.

2. DIY home energy audit vs. professional home energy audit

Deciding between a DIY audit and a professional audit depends on various factors, including your budget, time availability, and level of expertise.

A DIY home energy audit involves conducting a basic assessment of your home's energy use using readily available tools and resources. It can provide initial insights into areas that may need improvement, such as air leaks, insulation gaps, or inefficient appliances. It is important to note that while a DIY audit can provide some insights, it may not offer the same level of accuracy and comprehensive analysis as a professional audit.

Conversely, certified energy auditors carry out a professional home energy audit utilizing specialized equipment and techniques to evaluate your residence thoroughly. This comprehensive assessment ensures a meticulous analysis of your home's energy efficiency, allowing for targeted improvements and enhanced sustainability. They have the expertise to identify energy efficiency issues that may go unnoticed in a DIY audit. While a professional audit may involve an upfront cost, it provides detailed and accurate recommendations tailored to your home's specific needs.

3. How to conduct a DIY home energy audit

To conduct a DIY home energy audit, simply follow these comprehensive step-by-step instructions:

  1. Assess Insulation: Check the insulation levels in your attic, walls, and floors. Look for gaps, cracks, or missing insulation that may be causing heat loss or gain.

  2. Inspect Windows and Doors: Check for drafts around windows and doors. Seal any gaps with weatherstripping or caulking.

  3. Examine Heating and Cooling Systems: Inspect your HVAC system for efficiency. Clean or replace air filters and ensure proper insulation on ductwork.

  4. Review Lighting: Replace old incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs. Consider installing automatic timers or motion sensors to control lighting usage.

  5. Evaluate Appliances and Electronics: Assess the energy consumption of your appliances and electronics. Look for energy-efficient models and consider unplugging devices when not in use.

  6. Check for Air Leaks: Look for air leaks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and plumbing penetrations. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal these areas.

  7. Assess Water Heater Efficiency: Check the temperature settings on your water heater and insulate hot water pipes to prevent heat loss.

  8. Monitor Energy Usage: Keep track of your energy usage by reviewing utility bills and using energy monitoring devices or smart meters.

  9. Consider an Energy Audit Kit: Utilize DIY energy audit kits that provide tools and instructions for more accurate measurements.

Although a DIY home energy audit can serve as a valuable initial step, it is crucial to acknowledge that it may not encompass all energy efficiency concerns. For a more thorough analysis, it is advisable to contemplate engaging the services of a professional energy auditor.

4. What a professional home energy audit includes

A professional home energy audit typically includes the following components:

  1. Blower Door Test: This test measures the air tightness of your home and helps identify air leaks.

  2. Infrared Thermal Imaging: Thermal imaging cameras detect temperature variations, revealing insulation gaps, air leaks, or moisture issues.

  3. Evaluation of Heating and Cooling Systems: The auditor assesses the efficiency of your HVAC system, including ductwork and airflow.

  4. Appliance and Lighting Analysis: Energy auditors evaluate the energy consumption of appliances, lighting, and electronics.

  5. Air Quality Assessment: They may also assess indoor air quality and identify potential sources of pollution or ventilation issues.

  6. Comprehensive Report: After the audit, you receive a detailed report with findings, recommendations, and estimated cost savings for improvements.

5. The cost of a home energy audit

The price of a home energy audit can vary based on factors, including the size and location of your home, as well as the complexity of the assessment. DIY audits typically require only your time and effort, making them low-cost or even free. On the other hand, professional audits can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the extent of the assessment and the services provided.

Although a professional audit incurs an initial cost, it is crucial to factor in the potential long-term savings and benefits of implementing energy-efficient improvements based on the audit's recommendations. By considering these aspects, you can make informed decisions that align with your budget and environmental sustainability.

6. How to prepare for a home energy audit

To ensure a smooth and productive home energy audit, follow these preparation steps:

  1. Gather Documents: Collect utility bills, home construction plans, and any documentation related to recent energy efficiency upgrades.

  2. Make a List of Concerns: Note down any specific areas of concern or issues you have noticed regarding energy efficiency in your home.

  3. Ensure Access: Clear access to key areas, such as the attic, crawl spaces, basement, HVAC equipment, and electrical panel, for the auditor to perform their assessment.

By being prepared and organized, you can help the energy auditor effectively evaluate your home and provide accurate recommendations.

7. Understanding a home energy audit report

After completing a home energy audit, you will receive a comprehensive report detailing the findings and recommendations. Here are some key components typically included in a home energy audit report:

  1. Overview: The report provides an overview of the audit process and a summary of the home's energy efficiency performance.

  2. Energy Consumption Analysis: It includes an analysis of your energy consumption patterns, identifying areas of high energy usage and potential opportunities for savings.

  3. Recommended Improvements: The report outlines specific recommendations to improve energy efficiency, such as upgrading insulation, sealing air leaks, or replacing inefficient appliances.

  4. Cost Estimates: It provides estimates of the costs associated with each recommended improvement, giving you an idea of the potential investment required.

  5. Return on Investment (ROI): The report may include an assessment of the estimated return on investment for implementing the recommended improvements, helping you prioritize projects based on cost-effectiveness.

  6. Payback Period: It indicates the time it will take for the energy savings resulting from the improvements to offset the initial investment.

  7. Incentives and Rebates: The report may include information on available incentives, rebates, or tax credits that can help offset the cost of energy-efficient upgrades.

  8. Additional Resources: It may provide additional resources, such as websites or contact information for local energy efficiency programs, to assist you in implementing the recommended improvements.

By understanding and following the recommendations in the home energy audit report, you can make informed decisions about energy-efficient upgrades and maximize your energy and cost savings potential.

8. Making your home more comfortable and energy-efficient post-audit with Sunrun 

In addition to implementing the recommendations from your home energy audit report, considering solar energy can further enhance your home's energy efficiency. Sunrun offers renewable energy solutions that can help you generate clean electricity and reduce your reliance on the traditional power grid. Get a free quote.

Solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into electricity, providing a cost-effective energy source for your home. By installing solar panels, you can reduce your carbon footprint, lower your electricity bills, and potentially earn credits through net metering programs.

Sunrun tailors solutions to your home's specific needs. Our team of experts can guide you through the entire process, from the initial assessment to the installation and maintenance of your residential solar. With Sunrun, you can make your home more comfortable, environmentally friendly, and financially sustainable.

9. Key takeaways

Here are the key takeaways from this guide on conducting a home energy audit:

  • A home energy audit helps identify energy inefficiencies and provides recommendations for improvements.

  • You can choose between a DIY home energy audit or hiring a professional auditor, depending on your resources and expertise.

  • DIY audits involve simple assessments, while professional audits offer a more comprehensive analysis.

  • Be prepared for the audit by gathering relevant documents and making a list of concerns.

  • The audit report provides valuable insights, recommendations, cost estimates, and potential return on investment.

  • Consider solar energy as a complementary solution to further enhance your home's energy efficiency.

By conducting a home energy audit and implementing energy-saving measures, you can reduce your environmental impact, lower your energy bills, and create a more comfortable living space.

Remember, energy efficiency is a journey, and every small step counts. Start your home energy audit today and take control of your energy usage for a brighter, more sustainable future.

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