Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service expert to perform 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to determine 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may 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 neighborhood. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could lead to a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner 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 independently may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire 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 close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.