Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, consistently 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 figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to carry out 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 benefits.
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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a generalized understanding 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. Broken ducts can lose up to 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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, such as along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.