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 end result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to complete 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills during an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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 check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often supply 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 scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can lead to a large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Auburn and Opelika to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be 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.
- 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Farnell Mechanical, Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Farnell Mechanical, Inc. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Auburn and Opelika with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.