Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service professional to complete 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great 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 beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently might not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 is better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your 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 near 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.
- 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Controlled Comfort HVAC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Controlled Comfort HVAC today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.