Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might 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 general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to determine 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 good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, 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 outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise 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 close to 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 the ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Durable Service for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Durable Service today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.