HVAC technician performing a home energy audit

Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.

What Is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a custom 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 past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find 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 identifying energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often offer 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 great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.

Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will result in a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Raising Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially 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, contributing to steeper 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 wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company 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 you can find a draft, like 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.
  • 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Bishop’s HVAC for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Bishop’s HVAC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Sacramento with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.