Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs 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. Some assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many 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 can be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will lead to a large increase in your energy bills and excessive 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 outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This might 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 because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find 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.
- Check for 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, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.