Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also known 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging 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 will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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. Exhaustive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand 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 large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit on your own will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close 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 can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Bartlesville to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your 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 near 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Farris Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Farris Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Bartlesville with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.