Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
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 go through previous energy bills in the course of 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 improvements, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs 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. 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 sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself might not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll give you a broad 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 call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and increased 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Port St. Lucie 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 there could be a draft, like 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.
- 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Custom Air Systems Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Custom Air Systems Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Port St. Lucie with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.