Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient renovations, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive 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 sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often supply 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 is 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 using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper 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 wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company in East Bernard 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 you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact E.B. Air, LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at E.B. Air, LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of East Bernard with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.