Frequently Asked Questions
What Services Does Energy Check Offer?
We are primarily in the business of conducting Home Energy Audits for existing and new homes. We also do consulting work for other builders and DIY homeowners, energy related building code testing for new homes and new additions, and home improvement contracting work that usually involves attics and roofs, basements, crawlspaces, air sealing, insulation, HVAC systems, windows and doors. We have also recently added a Preventative Maintenance Program, designed to keep the systems in your home at optimal performance.
Okay, What Is A Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is an in-depth examination of your home to determine 1) Where and how energy is being lost 2) Which systems are operating inefficiently 3) What kind of cost effective measures can be put in place to make your home more healthy, comfortable, affordable and energy efficient. You will receive a lengthy diagnostic rich inspection of your home and a full report of our findings, recommendations and if you like, an estimate for the work being recommended.
Why Should I Have an Energy Audit?
An Energy Audit gives you great information about your biggest investment and the building where, if you are lucky, you and your family spend a lot of time. The information from an audit can alert you of any health or maintenance concerns and give you the facts you need to make your home the best it can be. Simply put, it gets you on a path to saving money and energy month after month for as long as you live in in your home while improving the health and safety of your family and the durability and efficiency of the building.
When, Why and Where was Energy Check Started?
Energy Check is a local company located in Blacksburg. Our service area is all of Southwest Virginia, but we primarily serve the Roanoke and New River Valleys. It was created in 2007 as a branch of Shelter Alternatives, which has been leading the way in Green Building for the New River Valley of Virginia since 1988. As the expertise of their designers and builders grew in the area of building science and energy efficiency, owner Ed Tuchler wanted to establish a way for their remodeling clients to have the tools needed to re-address their home as a system and make good decisions about where to spend home improvement dollars. We also love the idea that we are helping our community learn how they impact the environment and make positive changes.
What is Home Performance?
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR offers "whole house' solutions to reduce both your energy costs and carbon footprint. Installing energy efficient upgrades through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program in your home can save up to 30% on energy costs and increase the comfort, safety, and durability of your home.
Why Should I Hire a Home Performance Contractor?
A home performance contractor is specially trained to do the job right. By retrofitting your home, based on a "whole house" approach and your priorities, we can help make your home more comfortable, warmer, and safer while saving you money on your utility bills and helping the planet.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of a comprehensive Energy Check home energy audit is $450. Our Preventative Maintenance Program includes 2 visits a year for $150. If you proceed with a project with Energy Check or Shelter Alternatives, half of the cost of your audit or maintenance visit will be credited back to you. Consulting services are also available at a rate of $75/hour.
How Long Does it Take?
The initial Home Energy Audit visit takes 4 - 5 hours, depending on the details of your home. It is great when you are able to be present for an introduction and to observe the testing (it's fun) but it is not necessary for you to be there. After the diagnostic phase is completed, our auditor prepares a full report. We like to have a follow up meeting with you in the days following your audit to explain our findings, which takes about 30 minutes. A Preventative Maintenance visit takes 30 minutes to an hour. Our work will be completed in the most timely and professional manner possible.
Is There Anything I Can do in Preparation?
Not anything mandatory but it helps to think about your problems and priorities. . Things to think about; iIn preparation for the assessment, please close all windows and exterior doors. To get the best infrared results, we need a 10 degree difference between inside & out. If possible, please turn on the heat or AC, prior to our arrival, to achieve that difference. Also, it is important that you do not have a fire in your wood stove or fireplace (if you have them) within 24 hours of the assessmentand and it's best if there are no ashes present, and exotic birds must be moved during the test for their safety (low temperatures can affect a bird's health).
My House is a Mess. Will My Stuff Get in Your Way?
Only that we have access to where we need to go – otherwise, we aren't concerned about your housekeeping (we've seen a lot). We are here to help you and your home.
How Do I Sign Up?
Call us at 540-443-9966 and we will be happy to take your information and find a time and a plan that works for you or send us a message. We are typically two weeks out, but can get you in sooner if you need us to.
Are There are Any Incentives to Do this Type of Work?
Yes, there are currently some tax credits and other incentives available. For the most current information, please visit DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. And if you proceed with a project with Energy Check or Shelter Alternatives, half of the cost of your audit or maintenance visit will be credited back to you.
Do You Have a Referral Program?
Yes we do. If you have been a client of ours and refer a friend, we will gift you with a $25 Kroger card, that also benefits our friends at the New River Land Trust. So, please spread the word about the work we are doing and have your friends and family let us know that you did.