Angie's List: Energy Audit - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Angie's List: Energy Audit

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2013 is drawing to a close. If you make your home more energy efficient before December 31st, you could be eligible for a federal tax credit.

In this Angie's List report, KULR-8's Emily Nantz tells us why you may want to start with a home energy audit.

"One of the issues we had was around switches and plug outlets throughout the house," says homeowner Steve Chase. He knew he had some energy leaks in his home.

"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

Steve says the home energy audit gave him piece of mind that recent home improvements weren't wasted.

"We didn't build the house, we bought the house existing and it had been five years old when we moved in 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."

There are several products and appliances that may qualify for a tax credit including insulation, heating and cooling equipment, roofing and windows. But before you commit to any improvements, evaluate your home's needs.

An energy audit can help do that by telling you how much energy your home uses and what you can do to improve efficiency.

"I have my infrared camera here and what we do is we go through the house. We look at everything, floors, doors, windows, and ceilings - everything that we can think of and we are trying to find issues within the house," says Art Tompkins, Energy Auditor.

An audit typically takes about three to four hours to complete and costs $250 to $800. Most auditors take pictures, both infrared and digital, and include those in a report with descriptions and suggestions on how to fix issues.

"The auditor should come in and give you an assessment. They shouldn't be selling you the actual items," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

You should always be home at the time of the audit so you can go room to room with the auditor. For a list of products and appliances that may qualify for tax credits, you can check with the IRS.

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