Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather events, consistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find 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 renovations, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, many 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 can be a great 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 damaged, it can result in a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to 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 Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own will not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer 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. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close 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 might be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like along the edge of flooring and close to 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.
- 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Halverson Brothers Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Halverson Brothers Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.