Marcell and Bill Claus would like to live in their Blacksburg home as long as they can and protect their investment.
"I wanted to primarily save energy," said Bill Claus. "But the money we would save by saving energy was a factor too."
The couple decided to get a home energy audit not only to reduce energy use and cost, but to improve air quality and look for anything that might be cause for concern. "Whether it be utility bills, moisture problems or comfort issues, allergy problems, they call us to really research their house," said Doug Ling of Blacksburg based Energy Check.
Ling performs energy check audits and looks at everything inside and out of the homes. "Inside we're looking at insulation levels, we're looking at how leaky the house is. We're checking the windows," he explained. He uses infrared technology, blowers to took for leaks and monitors moisture to get to the source of any problems.
"We'll explain, your windows are performing fine but maybe you need to caulk around the window to stop that air leak."
Homeowners get a full report with a prioritized list of things in order of importance so they can choose to do as much or as little to fit their budget. "From there we create a plan so here, if you want to spend $1000, here's what you should spend your $1000," Ling said.
The Claus' took the recommendations and say they saw immediate changes, starting with their electric bill which reached $400 before. It's now dropped to $130, even during the coldest winter. "Our use of electricity is down a great deal, it's more quiet, it's more comfortable, more even in terms of temperature," Claus said, enjoying the comforts of their newly energy efficient home.
It's not only about heat escaping during the winter months, the audit is something you can have done year round. Ling explains as long as there's a 10 degree differential between the temperature inside and outside, he can detect things like moisture in crawl spaces or basements in the summer that you won't see in winter.