December 2, 2015

Hidden gaps and cracks in your home can let in as much air as leaving a window open year-round. This leakage and other inefficiencies can account for 30% of your home's heating and cooling costs!

Your house, like your car, is a system

You understand that your car is made up of interacting components and systems – when one component fails, it affects the performance of the entire vehicle. But did you know that the same goes for your house?

Consider this scenario. You're uncomfortable in your home, so you reach for the thermostat, but the HVAC can't keep up. Your energy bills skyrocket. You notice condensation on windows. You find mold in the basement. The attic is damp and you worry about warping and rot. The kids seem to catch one cold after another. If your house were a car, the "check engine" light would be blazing and mysterious fumes would be coming from under the hood.

So you spend money and a weekend or two putting in more insulation. The problem gets a bit better, but it isn't solved. You look at the condensation and wonder if you should get new windows. You take the kids to the pediatrician for another round of antibiotics. Meanwhile, you're still uncomfortable and your energy bills are still way too high.

Energy audits can quickly identify the root problems

The "process of elimination" strategy to home performance repairs can cost a lot of money and time without ever achieving the goal of a comfortable, healthy, safe and energy efficient home. To get to the root of the problem, you need to consider the whole home using the house-as-a-system concept.

We recommend getting an energy audit to find and tackle your home's core problems. These audits are best done by Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified technicians for the following reasons:

  • Individuals with knowledge and training in building science can better diagnose home performance problems and prescribe cost effective solutions.
  • Audits require specialist diagnostic tools, such as a blower door or infrared camera, to locate problem areas in your home.
  • Follow-up audits done after improvements have been installed ensure that the house is performing at expected levels and has not negatively affected homeowner health and safety.

What does the Building Performance Institute (BPI) do?

Since 1993, BPI has set the technical standards for home energy auditing and energy efficiency upgrades. These standards are the foundation for our rigorous building science written and field exams, which lead to professional certifications for both individuals and companies. Our goal is to the raise the bar in home performance contracting, providing you with skilled contractors in your neck of the woods. We also aim to increase the efficiency of your home, your comfort, health and safety, and help you save money on your utility bills.

How energy efficient is your home? Take our home quiz to find out!

Want to get started? Find a BPI GoldStar Contractor near you.

Keep an eye on this blog for posts on DIY, innovative financing, energy efficiency news and cost saving measures you can take in your own home!

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Larry Zarker

Larry Zarker is the CEO of the Building Performance Institute, Inc. Larry has over 30 years of experience in the residential buildings sector and has managed the national expansion of BPI's standards, credentialing and quality assurance programs since 2006. In 2010, Larry directed BPI's effort to become an ANSI accredited standards development organization and BPI achieved this accreditation in 2012.