Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of 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 expert to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 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 seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company 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 is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros 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 request an appointment.