Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills during an energy audit to find out where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Examine insulation. If your home is older, it could mean your insulation is too. If you can see the joists, you likely need more insulation.
- Check ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Home Comfort Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Home Comfort Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.
Link to home page