Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, 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.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can lead to a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health problems, especially 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 much faster or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater 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 substantial 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 increase 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 along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.