Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often supply 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 is a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health issues, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll give you a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look 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, like 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.
- 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Central Air LLC 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 pros at Central Air LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.
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