Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist 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 uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes 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. Some assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, local 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
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, it can result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized understanding 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 bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Goode Bros AC & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Goode Bros AC & Heating today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.
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