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 extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can also indicate 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 determine whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing 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 suggesting energy-efficient updates, which might include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check 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 average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of 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 in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few 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 using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will result in a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently might not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Booneville to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and along 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Booneville Heating & Cooling LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Booneville Heating & Cooling LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Booneville with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.