Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting 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 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 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 wasted and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient renovations, which may include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with 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:
Understanding 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 damaged, it can cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea 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. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close 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 is better to contact 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, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks along 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working 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 professionals at Bishop’s HVAC today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.