Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service professional 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure 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 recommending energy-efficient renovations, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing 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 will perform 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. Some assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for sure 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will cause a significant 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 Updates
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Mobile to inspect your system.
- Look 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 could be a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks around 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Mobile with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.