Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service specialist to carry out 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 key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include swapping out your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often provide 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 could be a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some 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 consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run 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 conserve 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 slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently will not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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 along 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.
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