Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
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 might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which might include swapping out your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting 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, lots of energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired 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 completing an energy audit independently might not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase 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 along 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Assured Appliance & Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Assured Appliance & Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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