Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with 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 decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, 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 more quickly or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently might not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea 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. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly 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 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.
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