Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist 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 previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include checking 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 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing 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 lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 call 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 is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and close to 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.
- 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Olde Towne Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Olde Towne Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.