Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging 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 performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out 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 could 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 provide information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health problems, especially 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 more quickly or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken 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 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 can be better to call 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 is a draft, like along the edge of flooring and close to 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.
- 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 spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Freed Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Freed Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Link to home page