The secret is out when it comes to solar energy here in Massachusetts. Homeowners all over the state have taken the initiative to upgrade their energy independence, reduce their carbon footprint, and save on their energy bills by installing solar photovoltaic systems on their homes. But you may be wondering, what can a home energy audit have to do with solar energy?

What Is an Energy Audit?

The term “energy audit” or “home energy assessment” refers to a thorough exam of your overall home performance. By utilizing diagnostic tools like infrared camera technology, combustion safety equipment, and in some cases blower door tests, a professional energy auditor will examine a home from top to bottom. Once the audit is finished, the homeowner will receive a detailed report outlining all areas where the home is losing energy. An energy audit report should also include home improvement recommendations that will resolve any issues. These recommendations often include:

Insulation Upgrades

Insulation is one of the misunderstood, silent saviors (or villains) of home performance. Proper insulation in the attic, crawlspace, and walls of your home will keep the heat in during the winter and prevent the summer heat from infiltrating your home in the summertime. Upgrading your insulation can reduce your need to run any heating and cooling equipment, saving you in utility costs and in furnace and AC repair costs!

Air Sealing

Oftentimes, tiny holes and cracks in your home that are invisible to the naked eye are allowing outside air to freely move in and out of your living space. This leads to inconsistent temperatures, as well as a significant decrease in your indoor air quality by allowing outside contaminants and allergens to make a home in the air you breathe. Professional air sealing locates and seals these holes and is almost always paired with an insulation upgrade.

HVAC Sizing & Upgrades

Properly sizing a furnace and air conditioner is like Goldilocks finding a bed, or a bowl of porridge— it must be right. An air conditioner that is too small will run endlessly, incurring unnecessary wear and tear and sending your energy bills sky high. An air conditioner that is too large will turn on and off in the blink of an eye, reducing its overall efficiency without making your home any more comfortable. A home energy audit will uncover any HVAC sizing issues so you can save the maximum amount of energy without sacrificing your home comfort.

The Goal: Energy Efficiency + Savings

The overall goal of a professional energy audit is to save the homeowner as much energy as possible while remaining comfortable all year round. Just scheduling an energy assessment alone comes with valuable insights into your home performance, so you can make informed decisions when it comes to your next home improvement project. But there is one more benefit for homeowners that are interested in solar installation for their home energy — the less energy your home requires each day, the fewer solar panels your home will need.

An energy audit will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint, regardless of your intentions to go solar. When you combine the energy, savings tips and improvements of an energy audit with the clean, renewable power that comes with a custom designed and installed solar PV system, the savings begin to add up quickly.

Energy Audits at No Cost to You

And the number one reason we think you should get an energy assessment…NO COST! Through the Mass Save program, Massachusetts homeowners, renters, landlords and property owners can get an energy assessment at NO COST from a Mass Save certified contractor.  Even better, Mass Save offers rebates for energy efficiency upgrades such as for appliances, heating and insulation and air sealing. Did you know that you could save 75% or more of your insulation and weatherization cost through Mass Save?