Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.

An easy way to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.

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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills during an energy audit to determine 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 identifying energy-efficient improvements, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer 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 could be a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.

Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will cause a large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Increasing 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 demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll give you a general idea 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 call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper 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 inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise 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 near 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.
  • 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 functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Myers Furnace Company 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 pros at Myers Furnace Company today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Belton with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.