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Start Saving Money with a Home Energy Audit: An Interview with Matt Marshall of Carolina Home Performance Inc.

By Matt Marshall

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Carolina Home Performance Inc. began in 2009 with the goal of helping homeowners and builders retrofit and build their homes sustainably, efficiently, and affordably. For existing homes our process of evaluating, recommending improvements, and making the improvements, is the most efficient way to improve a home's comfort, efficiency, and safety. We perform many of the energy efficiency upgrades in house and have a network of like-minded subcontractors for other improvements.

Can you briefly explain what a home energy audit or an energy assessment is?

An energy assessment is a means to an end with the goal of actually making energy efficiency upgrades.

What are the basic steps for a home energy audits and how long does one usually take?

The assessment starts with an interview of the homeowner to find out what concerns they have and to determine how the home is used. Then we move into a visual inspection of the systems that contribute to overall energy usage. These systems include the heating and air conditioning equipment, ductwork, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, water heaters, plumbing fixtures, lighting, appliances and insulation.

After the visual inspection we move into the diagnostic stage where tests are performed which provide results for air leakage rate, duct leakage rate, furnace and water heater safety and if there are any fuel leaks. The energy assessment usually takes 1-3 hours depending on the size and features of the home. After all of the information is collected by the energy auditor they will collect their findings and recommendations into a report and detailed work scope to be provided to the customer.

What are the main benefits for homeowners and residents who have a professional energy audit/assessment done?

Improved comfort, energy efficiency and safety are the main benefits. Who doesn't have one room in their home that is cooler or warmer than the rest of the home? Just like a car mechanic or doctor would, an energy assessor will diagnose the problem and provide a remedy to the problem without wasting money guessing what might solve the problem.

For example, many homeowners decide to replace their windows because they believe it will save a lot of money but in reality, more money could have been saved had they chosen to insulate their attic for much less upfront cost. The energy assessment helps determine which improvements are cost effective and which are not.

Who is qualified to perform an energy audit and how much does it typically cost in North Carolina?

Qualified energy auditors will have a Building Performance Institute Certification or a RESNET Home Energy Rating System Certification. If they don't have at least one of these then look for another company. Energy Audits range in price from Free to $500 depending on the level of assessment and the size and features of the home.

Typically, free assessments are lacking diagnostic testing while higher priced assessments are all inclusive. You may also find some "free" assessments that are paid for with higher priced improvements.

What are the top two or three things that people in North Carolina can do now to save energy in their homes and start saving money?

The three things that almost always top the list are sealing duct leaks, sealing leaks through the exterior of the home, and installing additional attic insulation.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

Give me a call at 336-501-8882 or e-mail me at matt@carolinahomeperformanceinc.com. Feel free to browse our website

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About The Author

Matt has been in construction since the age of ten when he began working for his dad...

Phone: 336-501-8882

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