Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to perform 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a thorough 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 during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging 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 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local 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 is a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will result in a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself will not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and increased 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Heflin 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 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.
- 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 look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Heflin with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.