Furnaces and boilers worked overtime this month, and the next set of energy bills to arrive in mailboxes will show just how expensive a brutal cold spell can be for homeowners, particularly in the older homes that populate the Chicago area.
An energy audit can help homeowners and owners of multifamily buildings determine how to better keep a property warm in the winter and cool in the summer by tightening the building’s envelope. The fixes typically cost a few thousand dollars, and area utility companies offer rebates tied to the work.
Can energy efficiency add value to your home? Can a HERS rating be used in a real estate appraisal? Contact the real estate appraisers at www.scappraisals.com ; they are forerunners in energy efficient and green appraisals.
From July 2012 to last September, CNT Energy, a division of the nonprofit, Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology, helped almost 3,700 homeowners tackle energy-efficiency projects in their homes. Clarinda Valentine is one of them.
Valentine, who has owned a two-flat in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood for 30 years, already had undertaken several projects to make the building more energy efficient, such as installing new windows and exterior doors. She still felt a draft on certain days.
“I was still getting air,” Valentine said. “Depending on what direction the wind was coming from, I could feel air on my legs.”
Diagnostic test. After hearing about CNT Energy from a friend, she called the group, and an energy audit was performed on the building. The auditor tested the furnace and hot water heater, and performed a blower door test to see just how leaky her home was.
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