FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where are the biggest air leaks in my home?
Many air leaks are easy to find because they are easy to feel - like those around windows, doors, and through electrical outlets. Hidden air leaks in attics, basements, and around chimneys are often more significant sources of energy loss. BrightHome utilizes the blower door test to calculate how much energy you are wasting due to excess of air flow. With air-sealing and insulation, we can optimize your home's air tightness, increase its air quality and make it more comfortable.
What are typically the most cost-effective improvements that can save energy?
It depends on the home. Usually, near the top of the list are sealing gaps, cracks, and other leaks that let outside air into your home (especially in the attic), adding insulation in the attic, sealing and insulating air ducts that run through attics or crawlspaces, and repairing or replacing old or poorly functioning heating and cooling systems and appliances. BrightHome offers all of these services, including the cash back benefits through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.
What does the infrared camera do?
With Infrared thermal imaging cameras, our energy consultants can graphically display and photograph the insulation levels and cold or hot spots within your walls, ceilings and floors without creating any holes or removing any sheet rock. You will be amazed when you see a vivid image of where you are missing insulation and what that does for heat loss in the winter or heat gain in the summer.
How long is a Home Energy Audit?
A home energy audit generally last two to four hours. During this time, BrightHome provides homeowners with valuable information regarding the existing condition of their home and identifies areas where energy efficiency, comfort and safety improvements can be made.
A BrightHome energy savings consultant completes a visual inspection of the living space, attic, basement (or crawl spaces), and performs a number of healthy and safety tests using special diagnostic equipment.
What do I do during the Home Energy Audit?
BrightHome encourages you to accompany the energy savings consultant as they perform the energy audit. Let us know what, if any, issues or concerns you have about your home (drafts, uneven temperatures, discomfort, evidence of moisture or mold, strange smells, even physical symptoms such as persistent headaches or flu-like symptoms). Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
What credentials does BrightHome have?
BrightHome is accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Building Performance Contractors Association of New York, New Jersey Clean Energy Program, Environmental Protection Agency and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®. Click here to learn about these providers.
Is financing available?
BrightHome is working with the largest direct lender of FHA Title-One Home Improvement Loans to allow homeowners to make their homes healthier, more energy efficient and comfortable. Read more>>
How do I apply for the energy efficiency tax credits and incentives?
BrightHome handles all the paperwork regarding NYSERDA cash incentives.
To claim the tax credit for energy efficient products placed in service in 2009, you will need to file the 2009 IRS Form 5695 and submit it with your 2009 taxes (by April 15, 2010). Currently, only a DRAFT version of the 2009 IRS Form 5695 is available (without the instructions section).
On the DRAFT 2009 1040 form, the residential energy tax credit (from Form 5695) is claimed on line 52.
Are there state tax rebates or federal tax credits available?
Yes, NYSERDA offers up to $3,000 cash back only through Home Performance contractors such as BrightHome, and the Federal Stimulus tax credits offers up to $1,500 in tax credits. Read more>>
Is there an income limit on the tax credit?
There is no upper or lower limit on income for the energy efficiency tax credits.
Which products are eligible for federal tax credits for energy efficient home improvements?
Products eligible for federal tax credits include windows, doors, garage doors, sliding glass doors, storm windows, storm doors and insulation, HVAC and non-solar water heaters. Cash back rebates for ENERGY STAR® appliances are only available through certified contractors such as BrightHome.