Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting 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 key elements.
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 might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills during an energy audit to find 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform 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 inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, local 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 could be a good starting point to decide 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 up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This might 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 because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized idea 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:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call 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 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.