You Asked, We Answer: Is a Home Energy Audit Worth It?

December 06, 2022

Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also called 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted 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 might include swapping out your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes 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 could also include reviewing 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 in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, many 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.

Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional 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 expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people suffering from 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 prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit independently may 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 likely don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Menomonie and western Wisconsin to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of 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 near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
  • Examine 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 functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Halverson Brothers Inc for a Professional Energy Audit

If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Halverson Brothers Inc today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Menomonie and western Wisconsin with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.