Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service expert to complete 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 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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing 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 damaged, it can result in a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly 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 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 handling an energy audit on your own will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close 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 in Brookfield to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, such as 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Central Air LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Central Air LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Brookfield with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.