Wisconsin Home Performance Audit Frequently Asked Questions
|What is the benefit to having an energy audit completed?||TOP|
The benefits of an home energy audit for your Wisconsin home are numerous and here are a few of them:
|How long does an home energy audit take?||TOP|
|The typical home energy audit takes between 2-3 hours however depending on the types of issues we find and the questions you have we could take up to four hours.|
|What's the payback on the cost of a Wisconsin home energy audit?||TOP|
|The payback on the cost of a typical Wisconsin home energy audit/assessment we provide can be as soon as improvements are made, the post testing is completed and Focus on Energy sends you your check which is usually within a few weeks. With the current rewards available for having an energy audit done on your home they can more than make up the initial cost. Keep in mind that energy efficient improvements continually pay you back over the life of the home, and this payback increases as energy costs increase.|
|How much money can I receive back from Focus on Energy for having an audit completed?||TOP|
The Focus on Energy approved contractor will be able to tell you how much you qualify for when they give you your estimate of the work that needs to be completed.
|Should I spend a lot of money to find out what my homes issues are?||TOP|
|The cost you spend on an audit has to be part of the over all cost payback equation. In most cases the diagnostics performed during a typical Home Performance assessment are plenty enough testing to help you find out what your homes issues are. Ask yourself what you're looking to find out and if it's worth the extra cost of more in depth testing. As certified Home energy raters we can perform additional diagnostics if need be, or if you decide you want them -for an additional cost. This additional diagnostic testing may add an additional 1-3 hours to the length of time to complete the audit.|
|I already know my windows and doors are bad.||TOP|
|We don't usually spend a lot of time looking at your doors and windows; we concentrate on the issues we find to be lacking in performance in your home based off of the diagnostic testing we perform. Not opinions. If warranted we'll address issues or concerns you have with the windows and doors while conducting our testing, so whether your windows are bad or better than you thought -you'll be able to see that for your self during testing.|
|I know I need insulation, why conduct all this other testing?||TOP|
|Because it's in your best interest. We take the "Whole house approach", to making home improvements. What this means is that when you make a change to one part of the home such as replacing windows, siding, adding insulation, weather-stripping etc. Those changes affect the performance of other parts of your home relating to indoor air quality, your furnace and water heater, moisture, and comfort. By performing the tests on the whole house we can make solid recommendations that will make a difference in the issues you're trying to resolve, and reduce the potential for health, safety, or comfort issues to arise as a result.
|Does it have to be cold out to perform an energy audit on my home?||TOP|
|No. We can conduct testing on your home during any time of the year. According to the manufacturer in order for the infrared scan to work best we need at least a ten-degree difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the home. Whether it's the summertime or during the winter. We can perform this part of the test without that large of a temperature difference, but the infrared pictures you'll see won't be as defined.|
|Do I have to use the contractors you recommend?||TOP|
|NO. We provide you a short list of some of the contractors who have aligned their companies with the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program as a courtesy. You can make the improvements yourself or hire your own contractor. Using one of the contractors who've partnered with the program benefits you a couple ways. 1. They're familiar with the techniques used in making energy efficient improvements to your home. 2. They will provide you with the amount of the rebate from Focus on Energy that's available to you. 3. If they've missed something as part of the program and good customer service they come back to remedy the issue without hassle.|
|I want to save money on electrical costs, but I don't like the light the CFL bulbs give off?||TOP|
To achieve better results with the ENERGY STAR rated CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs compare and match the amount of Lumens of the bulb you normally buy to the energy efficient bulb you're going to buy to ensure you're getting a bulb that's giving off the same amount of light.
Different brands may have different colors of light available which will also have an effect on your regard for the new light bulbs, however without specific labeling we're not aware of an easy way to tell the difference between them from the package other than screwing one in and turning it on.
New L.E.D. bulbs are on the market and are efficient, but more costly than CFL bulbs.
|I heard the new CFL bulbs have mercury in them?||TOP|
|This is true. However the amount is significantly less than you may be used to. ENERGY STAR rated CFL bulbs usually have around 5 milligrams of mercury in them where as the circular thermostat you may have on the wall has about 3 grams! A thermometer may have anywhere from 500 milligrams to 2 grams of mercury in them.|
|Can a house be too tight?||TOP|
Can a submarine or space station be built to tight? The real question you should be thinking is: How tight is my home now? Did you know that most exisiting homes range from about 1.5' - 3'+ sq feet worth of air leakage. That's as much open space as some windows! Some new homes with healthy occupants living in them are as tight as 30 sq inches of leakage (1/3 of a sq foot aprox. 6.5" pie plate) or less!
Building tight and building right can be successful if proper testing is completed by a certified home energy (HERS)rater such as us at Beyond Energy LLC. Part of the reason behind properly testing your home before improvements are made is to ensure that making those improvements isn't going to cause issues with your combustion appliances, ventilation, or moisture, and to identify what improvments your home needs. This is also part of the reasoning for following through with your, no cost to you follow up visit. This is when we verify that after the improvements to your home have been made that everything you paid for has been completed, and that additional measures are or are not necessary to maintain the safety, comfort, or energy efficiency of your home.
|What's your experience?||TOP|
Our experience lies in residential new construction and remodeling since the mid 80's. Tim has also built 8-10 family condominiums. Some credentials held are or were- UDC and HVAC building inspector, and WI. Weatherization inspector, also WI Energy Conservation Corp. (WECC), Building Performance Institute (BPI), and Residential Energy Services Netwrok (Resnet) home energy rater certifications. Various positions held were carpenter, trim carpenter, remodeler, drywaller, field expediter, customer service manager, assistant production superintendent, and production superintendent.
Tim has also been certified by Building Performance Institute (BPI), Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and has passed the national rater exam required for all certified home energy raters (HERS raters), and is accredited by the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, Resnet, and the Building Performance institute (BPI). Partnerships include Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), Focus on Energy (FOE), Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes (WESH), National ENERGY STAR and the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR programs.
|Do you perform testing that meets Wisconsin Building code SPS 322.37?||TOP|
|Yes we do. We perform the necessary tests and submit the appropriate documentation to your local building inspector or code official.