In it's latest issue, Consumer Reports says what savvy homeowners already know:
"Watch out for: Fly-by-night companies-"blow and go" is the industry term-who charge a hefty fee for an audit, promise major upgrades, then disappear. Choose a contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute. They're required to do an audit before and after any work to guarantee results."
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BPI certified professionals have passed rigorous written and field exams that verify their knowledge and skills in building science. They are trained to approach the whole house as a system, much like a car mechanic analyzes the interacting components of a car. Home performance assessments go beyond an energy audit to discover how different components of the home are working together to deliver comfort, energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Based on the assessment report, contractors develop a prioritized scope of work to improve the building envelope, heating, A/C, insulation, mechanical ventilation, or other systems of the home. Tackling these problems one by one can cost a lot of money and time without ever achieving the goal of a comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient home.