Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also known as 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect 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 tough for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will result in a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can expose 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.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself 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 discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Northglenn with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.