Did you perform 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 events, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out 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 may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health issues, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Alliance to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces 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 pros at Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Alliance with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.