Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, persistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills while completing 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 improvements, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including 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 hard for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your 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 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.