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 events, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also called 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient renovations, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure 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 when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to decide 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 learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher 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 wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as 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.
- 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check 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 finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.