Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service expert to carry out 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 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 ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of 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 can be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding 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 could result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner 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 independently may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, 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 the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Myers Furnace Company for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Myers Furnace Company today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.