Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine 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 updates, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Some 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 leaking, it can result in a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself might not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad 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. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the 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 close to 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.
- 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 Booneville Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Booneville Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.
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