Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all 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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills during 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 might include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. 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 is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial 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 air, it will result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health conditions, 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 much faster or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive 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 inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company 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 could be a draft, like 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.
- 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Mobile with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.