Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service professional 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out 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. Some assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to be 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 when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run 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 save on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, 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 more quickly or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer 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 bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the 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 close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks along 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. Ensure 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 are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Custom Air Systems Inc today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.