Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service specialist 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 review older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which can include swapping out your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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 checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as comprehensive 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 bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, 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 to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks along the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Inspect 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 working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Assured Appliance & Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring 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.