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Coffee Talk: Why All Household Decision Makers Should Be Present for a Home Energy Analysis – Discuss

A home energy analysis not only saves homeowners an average of 5% to 30% on their monthly energy bills but can uncover possible unsafe conditions in insulation, attics, walls, or basements.

According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners spend between $207 and $647 for an analysis. The good news is that Attics and More will perform a complimentary home energy analysis at no cost or obligation to a homeowner.

A home energy analysis professional will analyze energy bills, inspect various parts of the home, and may use high-tech equipment such as an infrared camera. However, the most crucial part of the analysis process comes down to one thing – conversation.

The Importance Of Being Heard

A home energy analysis expert will spend a great deal of time with homeowners asking questions, making notes, and performing various “walk-and-talks” throughout the home. To maximize this vital process, all decision makers must be present during the home energy analysis.

If mishandled, home service providers can step into a public-relations nightmare when broaching this vital guideline. Worded improperly, a spouse or significant other may feel devalued, or “talked down to” if a contractor insists both homeowners be present.

“I found it incredulous that I would be treated like ‘the little woman’ who was unable to make decisions related to doing work on a home,” a dissatisfied homeowner reported to Angie’s List, when told a home-service professional wanted both spouses present during an initial consultation.

“The person I spoke to on the phone said she understood it could be offensive, but that it was their wish to visit when both husband and wife were present. I was insulted and used another builder.”

And while it may be understandable if a homeowner mistakes such a policy as a Mad Men-era throwback, there are many valid reasons both decision-makers should be present for any consultation or audit affecting the home.

Scott Siegal, president of Certified Contractors Network, told Angie’s List he advises both homeowners to be present at significant consultations.

“We found that the most dissatisfaction comes from a missed communication or an unrealized expectation on the job, and that’s usually a result of not everybody being involved in the buying process,” Siegal told Angie’s List. “It’s nobody’s fault, just a bad circumstance, such as when the husband insists that he makes all the decisions, the contractor presents something to him and the wife doesn’t like the color or style, or vice versa. It’s a whole lot easier if everybody’s on the same page.”

Siegal’s insight is exceptionally accurate when it comes to a home energy analysis. When a specialist visits a home, a major goal is to gather as much data as possible during the initial audit. Unlike a window installation, closet reorganization, or new flooring project, a home energy analysis covers the whole house from top to bottom.

Common Home Energy Assessment Questions

Having access to all decision makers allows the analyst to dig into lifestyle habits that yield more in-depth insight into how energy is deployed in the house. Questions may include:

  • Is anyone home during working hours?
  • What is the average thermostat setting throughout the seasons?
  • How many people live here? Are there times when the immediate family is present temporarily (college break)?
  • Is every room in use? How often?
  • When was X (water heater, insulation, etc.) installed?
  • What major appliances are used the most?

With so many questions, it would be surprising if one decision maker had all the answers – much less accurate ones. With all decision makers present, a specialist can be confident they are gathering the highest quality intelligence.

Creating Clearer Communication

On the flip side, the presence of all decision makers ensures the home energy analyst can handle all the questions at one time instead of creating a back-and-forth, text/e-mail chain series of questions that may create more confusion.

While the old adage “opposites attract” may not be strictly accurate, it is true that each decision maker will approach the home energy analysis process from a different perspective. Each will offer fresh insights and know things about the home the other may never consider or perceive.

In a perfect world, homeowners would possess the clear, logical communication skills of a Mr. Spock “mind-meld.” In reality, a single person could misunderstand a cost estimate or the results of the analysis, causing confusion when sharing information to his or her spouse or significant other. If this misunderstanding is passed on to the other decision maker, the entire project, from data analysis to final recommendations, can be jeopardized and never realized. In addition, the home energy analysis providers may find themselves the loser of the “blame game” when it comes to final estimates or the project’s scope.

And then, there are costs – the greater the amount of accurate information shared during the home energy analysis, the lower the costs for both the provider and the consumer. Extra and unnecessary time spent by the provider may reflect a costlier final bill down the road.

The fruits of a home energy analysis may blossom into any number of beneficial solutions – from wattage-saving solar fans to a more effective attic insulation scheme to superior draft control. The first step down this path to energy efficiency is elementary. Everyone – spouses or significant others – should be present to answer the door when the home energy analyst comes knocking.

Home energy analysis providers should find ways to educate homeowners about the importance of simply being together at the appointment – it’s not a personal thing; it’s not meant to belittle either homeowner. It’s simply the best policy for the best outcome.

Now Is The Time To Schedule Your Home Energy Analysis

Consuming less energy puts more money in your pocket and, as an added bonus, helps keep our environment cleaner. Take the leap with Attics and More and schedule your complimentary no-obligation visit with our home energy savings professional today.