Maybe you’re really handy and looking forward to some home improvement projects in the name of saving energy and saving money. Or maybe you’re not interested in “sweat equity” and would much rather find the right professional partner to do the job for you.
Here’s some information on where to go to find the tools and information to get the job done – starting with a home energy assessment, which we recommend for every homeowner wanting to get serious about energy efficiency.
Energy Assessments Working with Contractors DIY More Resources
Home Energy Assessments
A home energy assessment (often called an “energy audit”) identifies the top priorities for reducing your home's energy use. A professional, certified energy auditor can examine your home's insulation, air tightness, heating/cooling systems and other sources of energy consumption. The energy auditor can perform diagnostic testing to determine the best ways to upgrade your home's energy performance and provide guidance on taking a whole-house approach.
The a2energy Contractor Partner network includes professionals that perform energy assessments; search the database for "energy audits" in the Contractor Services category. You may also want to visit the Michigan Saves list of Authorized and Advanced Contractors, among whom are energy auditors. Use their search fields to find Washtenaw County contractors and filter by "Energy Auditor."
While a professional energy assessment is recommended due to the technical knowledge, equipment and background that a certified auditor can provide, you can conduct your own assessment for a preliminary survey of your home’s energy needs.
Working with a Contractor
Home energy professionals can become your trusted partners in an energy efficiency renovation project. With in-depth knowledge of the housing industry as well as an understanding of new technology and trends, the right contractor will maximize the impact of your time and money and make sure you’re getting the most energy savings possible.
If you haven’t previously worked with a professional on projects of this scale, you’ll first want to do a little background research on how to find the right partner for the job. DTE Energy has compiled some useful information on what to look for in an efficiency contractor
Finding a contractor
Not sure how or where to find the right professional for your project? We encourage you to check out our
a2energy Contractor Partner network! These contractors are authorized by Michigan Saves, which requires them passing a high threshold of technical knowledge and good business practices. a2energy Contractor Partners have also completed an additional application process with the City of Ann Arbor that commits them to promoting energy efficiency and helping their customers achieve long-term energy savings with their projects. Launched in April 2012, this network will be growing over the coming weeks and months - check back often for updates to our partner list.
You can also search the wider Washtenaw County membership of the Michigan Saves Contractor database, where Advanced contractors can also offer the Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan for up to $20,000.
Do It Yourself
If you’re handy or even if you’re not – there are many projects you can take on properly and safely with upfront study and planning.
Air sealing and insulating
Find do-it-yourself guides to sealing and insulating with ENERGY STAR.
Window repair and weatherization
Even old windows can be made tight against the wind with glazing and caulking. Don’t forget to repair or replace damaged or broken locks. Here are 8 steps for Window Weatherizing.
If you live in one of Ann Arbor’s beautiful historic homes, you will want to take a look at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Weatherization Guide for Older and Historic Buildings.
Do you have sunny, too-bright rooms - or cold, drafty rooms – with single-pane glass windows? You might want to consider low-cost window films.