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5 ways to slash home energy bills

Schedule a home energy audit
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In a home energy audit, an expert comes to your home and identifies ways to save energy.

Major, energy-wasting inefficiencies include little or no insulation in walls, ceilings or exposed floors; air leakage (typically hidden in attic, attached porch or garage, or crawl spaces); leaky ductwork in an attic, garage or crawlspace; and old heating or cooling equipment, Harley says.

Home energy audits cost between $100 and $600, but financial assistance is often available, Harley says.

"People of modest means can often get help from a local or state weatherization program," he says.

Porterfield says you should ask an auditor about his or her training and experience.

"Some auditors may have one week's training," Porterfield says. "Others may have 25 years of experience and one week's training, and so forth."

Look for a consultant or auditor certified by the Building Performance Institute, the Residential Energy Services Network, or both, Harley says. 

SAVINGS: Varies widely, depending on what the auditor finds. "A good auditor will be looking for something that they've never seen before. He or she will have certain things to check, though more importantly they will be open to see what the house might try to hide," Porterfield says.




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