Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing 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 will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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. Comprehensive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning 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 result in a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or due to 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 problems, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find 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. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Buellton to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your 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 near 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Buellton with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.