Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service expert 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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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 could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, local 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could 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 properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close 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 might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Thedford to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase 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 near 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 spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Thedford with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.