7 On Your Side: Are heating audits worth the money?

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Nina Pineda has 7 on your Side. (WABC)

We wanted to see if the investment to make your home more energy efficient is worth it, so 7 On Your Side conducted a two-year experiment.

In January of 2014, a century-old home in Maplewood, New Jersey, was drafty and cold. But now, the home is toasty. In 2014, you could feel the wind blowing from the outside-in, even strong enough to blow out a match.

7 On Your Side watched as smoke from matches got sucked through cracks around windows, all costing hundreds in lost heat. Now, there is no more breeze.

An infra-red camera showed that a bedroom wall used to be freezing, with the temperature recorded to be 57 degrees. Now, it's 72.

Rashid Burney, of Building Sciences LLC, did a heat audit showing the trouble spots, which included no insulation in the exterior walls and gaping un-insulated cavities in the roof line. The company then pumped in cellulose insulation, made from recycled newspaper.

"It took us five days, and we had a crew of five to six people everyday in here," Burney said.

It's an investment, but if you qualify, states like New Jersey offer a $5,000 rebate, then a 10-year, 0 percent interest loan. On this job, the bill was just $83 a month, which adds up to less than $3 a day.

Has it resulted in lower bills? Well, the proof is in the paper. The homeowner in this case didn't get a bill from his energy company. Instead, he got a credit of nearly $700 on the next PSE&G bill.

In the long run, it will likely paying for itself.

You can check out grants and energy rebates in your area:

--New York
--New Jersey
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