Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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. Some assessments could 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 in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often offer 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 can be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know 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 significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially 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 showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself will not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the 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 close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Childress Heating & AC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Childress Heating & AC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.