Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather events, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to find 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 renovations, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
Several 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 the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly 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 demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Tomball to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as 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.
- 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Premium Air Services LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Premium Air Services LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Tomball with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.