Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find 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 updates, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to decide 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 beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise 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 near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working 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 finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Central Air LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.