Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills during an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, especially 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 telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Genoa to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Assured Appliance and Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Assured Appliance and Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Genoa with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.