Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, like drafty windows or inadequate 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 referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills during an energy audit to determine 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 identifying energy-efficient updates, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty 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 inspect 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 average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often supply information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself might not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 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, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks along 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Woody's Sudden Service for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Woody's Sudden Service today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.