Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert 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 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 review past energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked 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 figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health issues, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 call a reputable HVAC company in Northglenn to inspect your system.
- Look for 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 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Northglenn with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.