Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, consistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service professional 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could 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 compared to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks 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 determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can lead to 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 Improvements
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting 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 may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate 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 much faster or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own will not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll give you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.