Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather events, persistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.

An easy way to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.

What Is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills during an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.

The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be difficult for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.

Some 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 consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Raising Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although performing an energy audit on your own will not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 might be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Bain Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Heflin with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.