Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as 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 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 older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine 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 can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing 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 will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself might not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher 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 wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Freed Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Freed Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.