Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to carry out 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 advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include checking 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 in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home stands 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 determine if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile 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 air, it could result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health issues, especially 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 more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you 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. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, 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 to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise 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.
- 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 spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact James Heating & A/C, Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at James Heating & A/C, Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.