Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed 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 swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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 could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often supply 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 could be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing 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 unwanted moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your 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 along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks along 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Bain Heating & Air Conditioning 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 Bain Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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