Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to find 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 recommending energy-efficient renovations, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing 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 figure out 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. Comprehensive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. 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 useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health problems, especially 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 possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 is better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Rockford to inspect your system.
- Check for 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, including along the edge of flooring and near 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, Inc 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 professionals at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Rockford with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.