From: , Sierra Club Green Home, More from this Affiliate
Published March 30, 2010 09:25 AM

Home Performance and Indoor Air Quality Experts

Is your home plagued with musty smells, condensation on windows, a clammy basement, or mold creeping up the walls? Is your home drafty and uncomfortable, with energy bills that seem too high no matter how diligent you are about turning down the heat and turning off the lights?


If these headaches sound familiar, it may be time to call in a professional who specializes in identifying and fixing home performance problems. Depending on what your concerns are, there are different types of contractors and consultants to address them:

* Home performance contractors
* HVAC contractors
* Weatherization contractors
* Insulation contractors
* Indoor air quality or indoor environmental consultants

We’ll cover each of these individually, but first here are a few general tips.
Top Tips:

* Start with your utility company. Many local utility companies offer free or low-cost energy-efficiency evaluations. They usually also have publications with tips on how to do your own energy audit and home performance improvements.

* Do it yourself. If you are reasonably handy with home repairs, you can tackle many energy-efficiency and indoor-air-quality improvements yourself. This website is filled with tips for tuning up your home.

* Check the results. If you hire a company to do home performance work, don’t pay the final bill until you’re sure you’re satisfied with the results. If a company has installed weatherstripping, for example, examine each door and window to make sure none were missed. Open and close the windows and doors a few times to make sure the weatherstripping isn’t loose and doesn’t impede their operation. If you hired a company to beef up the attic insulation, go up into the attic to see if the workers did a quality job. (See our Insulation article to learn more).

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