Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to carry out 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills during an energy audit to figure 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of 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 check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often supply 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 could be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because 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 problems, especially 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 much faster or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in South Beloit and Belvidere to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along 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 functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of South Beloit and Belvidere with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.