Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, persistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service expert to carry out 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills during an energy audit to determine 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging 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 performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health issues, 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 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 by yourself might not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact 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, such as along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact E.B. Air 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 E.B. Air today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.