Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather events, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often supply information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster 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 on your own may not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Albuquerque to inspect your system.
- Look for 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 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact I-Deal HVAC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at I-Deal HVAC today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Albuquerque with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.