Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can also indicate 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 professional to complete 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 might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in 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 completes 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, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of 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 great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can result in a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own will not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized sense 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 hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks around 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Farris Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Farris Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Bartlesville with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.