Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by calling 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 advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past 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 exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive 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 area. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will result in a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to 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 prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and increased strain 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 close to 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.
- 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 working 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 figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.