Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which can include swapping out your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could result in a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health issues, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to 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 performing an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Phoenix 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, such as along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating 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 professionals at Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Phoenix with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.