Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to perform 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could 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 ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which may include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include inspecting 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 compared to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, 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 preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and close to 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.
- 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 look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Farris Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Farris Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.