Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more 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 and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose 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 check 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 tough for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and increased 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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, such as along the edge of flooring and along 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.
- 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 Age Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Age Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.