You Asked, We Answer: Is a Home Energy Audit Worth It?

December 06, 2022

Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all 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 up 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 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 suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, many 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 can be a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.

Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

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

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Enabling air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, especially for people dealing with 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 Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit independently might 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 discover any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 might be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Holdrege 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 is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Durable Service for a Professional Energy Audit

If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Durable Service today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Holdrege with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.