Angie’s List: Tips to make your house more energy efficient

Angie’s List: Tips to make your house more energy efficient »Play Video
An Energy auditor will take infrared and digital pictures and make suggestions on how to fix problems.
LEWISTON, ID - 2013 is drawing to a close, but before you focus on new resolutions, you may want to complete one more project this year... making your home more energy efficient.

In Angie's List report, why you may want to start with a home energy audit.

"I go through and I look at walls, doors, ceilings, floors, and I find things like insulation issues, air drafts, air leaks, and even moisture that can cause mold," said Energy Auditor, Art Tompkins. "What we do is we find these problems, we take pictures, both infrared and digital, and we put that all into a report with descriptions and suggestions on how to fix them."

"You can help save money by upgrading inefficient appliances and inefficient windows and doors," said Angie's List Owner, Angie Hicks. "But you need to make sure that your item is old enough that you are going to get a nice ROI on the investment. I replaced a furnace on a 20-year-old house not that long ago and we immediately saw savings in our heating and cooling bills. On top of that, the house was just more comfortable."

"One of the issues we had was around switches and plug outlets throughout the house," said homeowner, Steve Chase. "This was one that was maybe worse than the others. We knew it was kind of cold, but we did not realize quite how bad it was. But the audit did identify this area and it was a pretty simple fix. Just took off the faceplate and put some foam insulation around the electrical box and put the faceplate back on and it made a big difference."

"When hiring an energy auditor you want to make sure they are an independent third party," said Hicks. "The auditor should come in and give you an assessment. They shouldn't be selling you the actual items."

"We didn't build the house, we bought the house existing and it had been five years old when we moved in," said Chase. "And so I think the biggest surprise for us was just pleasantly we didn't have any big issues and many of the small issues we had, we were able to fix without much trouble."

Keep in mind that the total credit can't exceed $500 and it must be claimed on the 2013 federal income tax form.