Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service professional 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which can include swapping out your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor performs 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people suffering from 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 telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll give you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and excess 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Huntingburg 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 is a draft, such as 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.
- 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Dearing's Service & Solutions for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Dearing's Service & Solutions today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Huntingburg with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.