Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, installing 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 completes 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people who have 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in 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 wearing down, 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 to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, such as 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.
- 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check 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, call the HVAC pros at I-Deal HVAC today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.