Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.

What Is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed 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 may include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.

A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.

Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired 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 performing an energy audit by yourself will not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll give you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company 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 there could be 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.
  • 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Air Current AC & Heat for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Air Current AC & Heat today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Houston with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.