Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might 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 wasted and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, lots of 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 in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could lead to a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to potential 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 comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Comfort Zone, LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Comfort Zone, LLC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.