Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills in the course of 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 recommending energy-efficient renovations, which might include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform 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. Comprehensive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often supply 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 can be a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health problems, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive 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 inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look 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, such as along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.