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Angie’s List: Doing a Home Energy Audit

(WGGB) — 2013 is drawing to a close, but before you focus on new resolutions, you may want to complete one more project this year.

If you make your home more energy efficient before December 31, you could be eligible for a federal tax credit.

There are several products and appliances that may qualify for a tax credit, including insulation, heating and cooling equipment, roofing and windows.

However, before you commit to any improvements, evaluate your home’s needs.

An energy audit can help do that by telling you how much energy your home uses and what you can do to improve efficiency.

“I have my infrared camera here and what we do is we go through the house. We look at everything, floors, doors, windows, and ceilings – everything that we can think of and we are trying to find issues within the house,” explains Art Tompkins, an energy auditor.

An audit typically takes about three to four hours to complete and costs $250 to $800. Most auditors take pictures, both infrared and digital, and include those in a report with descriptions and suggestions on how to fix issues

Angie Hicks from Angie’s List adds, “When hiring an energy auditor, you want to make sure they are an independent third party. The auditor should come in and give you an assessment. They shouldn’t be selling you the actual items.”

You should also always be home at the time of the audit, so you can walk through your house, room by room, with the auditor.

The total credit can’t exceed $500 and must be claimed on the 2013 federal income tax form. You’ll need to fill out IRS form 5695 and provide a copy of the manufacturer’s certification.