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Start Saving Money With a Home Energy Audit: An Interview with Bobby de Sousa of Insul Kings

By Bobby de Sousa

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

Insul-Kings is a fully licensed and insured home performance contractor. We have been servicing Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire and Southern Maine since 2009. We offer a full line of insulation products, energy audits, and assessments. Our Audits range from the basic energy assessment all the way up to a fully modeled energy audit or H.E.R.S. Rating.

Can you explain what an energy audit or an energy assessment is?

An energy assessment consists of a brief interview and a walk through evaluation of a home's thermal and air boundaries. An energy audit expands upon the simple assessment. Not only is a interview and walk through evaluation done with an energy audit, but the heating systems are tested to make sure they are operating safely, a blower door test is done to measure how much air infiltration is occurring through the home's building envelope, infrared cameras are used (weather permitting) to scan walls and ceilings for additional unseen air leaks. And upon request these findings can be modeled by a computer with some "energy use records" to show a more detailed picture of where a home's energy consumption or loss is occurring. After either an assessment or an audit is done, a list of improvements such as the need to air seal or add insulation in an attic will be presented to the home owner. With audits that are done using modeling software, energy saving relating to specific improvements can be calculated. Pricing for audits vary depending on the home size and design. It is best to call us to discuss the options and their costs.

What are the basic steps for a home energy solutions service and how long does it usually take?

The first step to improving your home energy use and comfort would be to call and have one of our professional auditors come to your home and complete an assessment or audit. From there we can provide you with a detailed list of improvements as well as an estimate to make these improvements. Assessments are usually done in under two hours, while energy audits can take anywhere from two-six hours depending on the homes size and design.

What are the main benefits for homeowners and residents who have a professional energy assessment done?

Just about everyone wants to make their home more comfortable and affordable. But in some cases people, without knowing, spend a lot of money on something that actually is a marginal improvement but came with a big price tag (i.e. new windows). When in reality they could spend a fraction of that money on air sealing or adding insulation to key areas and see a much larger improvement in energy use and the comfort of there home. Having a professional assessment or energy audit will help educate homeowners so they can make better decisions.

Who is qualified to perform an energy audit and how much does it typically cost in Massachusetts?

Anyone doing an energy audit should be certified by a separate entity. In our case, we have our staff certified by Building Performance Institute (BPI). BPI in our opinion is the nation's premier standards development and credentialing organization for residential energy auditing. The cost for an energy audit can vary. Our assessments are free and our auditing services vary based on size and design of home.

What are the top two or three things that people in Massachusetts can do now to save energy in their homes and start saving money?

There are many small things that can save money immediately. A couple I would recommend are. First, change all incandescent light bulbs to either CFL or LED bulbs. Many people have shied away from these in the past but the new versions are dimmable, last longer, and are more affordable. Second, unplug any and all electronics that are not in use. Some of these items use almost as much power when they are off as when they are being used. Third, I would call and schedule a professional energy auditor today.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

Our fully staffed office can be reached at 888-KING-348 or email us at info@insulkings.com. Also, feel free to visit us at www.insulkings.com.

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