Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can often signify 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 figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out 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 beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health issues, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing 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 demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently will not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Branchville 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, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating 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 pros at Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Branchville with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.