Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by calling 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills during 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 updates, which may include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often supply 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 could be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning 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 could result in a large 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 Updates
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, especially 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 much faster or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad understanding 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. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call 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 you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along 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.
- 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 functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Branchville with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.