Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which might include exchanging your existing HVAC system, adding 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 completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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 might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, 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.
Raising 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently might not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 along 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Farnell Mechanical, Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Farnell Mechanical, Inc. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.