Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out 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 identifying energy-efficient updates, which may include replacing your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting 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 impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially 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 more quickly 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 may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general understanding 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 bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and excess 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Longview to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, including 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.
- 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Goode Bros AC & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Goode Bros AC & Heating today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Longview with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.