As we show you in this video, an inspector checks the safety of your potential new home. Home Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction and mechanical systems of the house and will make you aware of only repairs that are needed. The Inspector does not evaluate whether or not you're getting good value for your money. Generally, an inspector checks (and gives estimates for repairs on): the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and Ventilation the heating and AC system, water source and quality the potential presence of pests the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof. Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced. It's a good idea to have an inspection before you sign a written offer since once the deal is closed you've bought the house as-is.
So, the next time you need a home inspector (or need to refer your clients to one), make sure that inspector is a member of InterNACHI.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
HOW DOES IT WORK?
An energy auditor will walk through your home, review your bills, and conduct a blower door test or thermographic scan.Some utilities offer free or discounted home energy audits. Contact yours to find out if this incentive is available.
Professional energy assessments generally go into great detail to assess your home's energy use. The energy auditor will do a room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills. Many professional energy assessments will include a blower door test. Most will also include a thermographic scan. There's also another type of test -- the PFT air infiltration measurement technique -- but it is rarely offered. Check out the Energy Saver 101 graphic to get an idea of what energy auditors look for and the special tools they use to determine where a home is wasting energy.
PREPARING FOR AN ENERGY ASSESSMENT
Before the energy auditor visits your house, make a list of any existing problems such as condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms. Have copies or a summary of the home's yearly energy bills. (Your utility can get these for you.) Auditors use this information to establish what to look for during the audit. The auditor first examines the outside of the home to determine the size of the house and its features (i.e., wall area, number and size of windows). The auditor then will analyze the residents' behavior:
Your answers may help uncover some simple ways to reduce your household's energy consumption. Walk through your home with the auditors as they work, and ask questions. They may use equipment to detect sources of energy loss, such as blower doors, infrared cameras, furnace efficiency meters, and surface thermometers.
FINDING AND SELECTING AN ENERGY AUDITOR
There are several places where you can locate professional energy assessment or auditing services.
Before contracting with an energy auditing company, you should take the following steps:
•Get several references, and contact them all. Ask if they were satisfied with the work.
•Call the Better Business Bureau and ask about any complaints against the company.
•Make sure the energy auditor uses a calibrated blower door.
•Make sure they do thermographic inspections or contract another company to conduct one.