Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to potential 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 broad 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:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Air Current AC & Heat for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Air Current AC & Heat today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.