Energy inefficiency in homes can lead to higher bills and lower quality of life.

Local energy professionals are advising homeowners to have an energy audit completed to find and alleviate those problems.

“It’s our No. 1 suggestion when people call and want to do something about lowering their usage,” Murtaugh said of conducting a home energy audit.

Greg Ernst, energy consultant for G.A. Ernst & Associates, conducted an energy audit of a house Murtaugh owns on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be helpful for knowing what we need to do when we remodel,” said Murtaugh, who added he learned there might be a need for radon mitigation, and he discussed addressing ventilation in the house.

“This is the No.1 thing you can do to find out what’s going on,” he said.

Ernst said audits include evaluating gas and electricity use, determining costs associated with heating and cooling homes, refrigeration costs and deciding whether appliances for heating and cooling should be replaced.

An inspection of the building is conducted to determine airtight and insulation levels.

“It’s kind of a three-pronged approach, starting with the equipment, moving on to thermal envelope and then durability — durability being ventilation,” Ernst said.

There are multiple reasons to conduct a home audit, he said, including improving home comfort and the home’s durability, as well as reducing energy costs.

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