Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also called 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing 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, including 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 certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile 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 will lead to 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 expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of 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 cause health problems, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a general idea 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 bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look 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 could be a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near 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.
- 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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