Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also known 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 might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized sense 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 bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to plug 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.
- Look for 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.
- 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Premium Air Services LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Premium Air Services LLC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.