Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, persistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
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 previous energy bills during an energy audit to determine 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing 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 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. Comprehensive assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can result in 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 upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home via 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 encourage mold. This can cause health problems, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can 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 you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Controlled Comfort HVAC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Controlled Comfort HVAC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Carpentersville with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.