By The National Association of Realtors
That’s how Andrea Galloup reacted to the results of an energy audit conducted on her house.
A thermal imaging camera indicated a steady flow of heat exiting the leaky house through windows, door and walls.
Galloup, a Traverse City, Michigan practitioner with Real Estate One, received the NAR’s Green Designation last year and was inspired to hire an auditor to assess her 1970s ranch after learning about audits during her GREEN courses.
The audit (for information on energy audits, see the Energy Star site) was done on a cold November day last year. “The naked eye could never see it, but the thermal imaging camera photos showed heat escaping everywhere. It was almost alarming,” she recalls. After all, given northern Michigan’s tough winter climate, heating an inefficient house can prove expensive.
Her aim was both to improve her home’s efficiency and to be able to speak intelligently to clients about the importance and benefits of conducting such audits. “We always recommend home inspections to clients, yet never energy audits,” she says. “But the cost of owning a home also involves utilities.”
The auditor delivered a detailed report about her property’s shortcomings and made recommendations for gaining greater energy efficiency. He also tipped her off to a $250 rebate available from the gas company for doing an audit and making improvements.
Galloup says the suggestions were both small and large. The biggest entailed replacing the heating and boiler system, which Galloup opted not to do immediately.