Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service specialist 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 advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks when compared with 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.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will cause a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look 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, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Rockford with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.